Following news that the UK Government is to introduce major improvements to the way road schemes are planned and built, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said that it ‘can only be good news for the logistics industry’.
Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, announced that three of England’s motorways would see increased capacity by spring 2015 thanks to acceleration of upgrades to the roads benefitting motorists and hauliers. The three schemes being accelerated are:
- M3 J2 to 4a in Surrey
- M6 J10a to 13, West Midlands
- M1 J28 to 31 in Derbyshire
Thanks to a new way of working which is planned for the future; lanes will be added to motorways in up-to half the time it normally takes.
The planned acceleration of work will be achieve by taking more work off-site and bringing to site as pre-fabricated/pre-assembled units, and moving toward a 24 hour operation with more people on site working on multiple phases at once.
The news has been welcomed by the FTA which has campaigned for many years in regard to the lengthy process in delivery of road improvement schemes can take; despite having already passed the planning and financial approval stages.
In addition vital improvements to A160/A180 route to the Port of Immingham are scheduled to start construction in the summer of 2015 and complete in autumn 2016 – cutting 18 months off the original construction timetable.
The schemes on the M3, M6, M1 and the A160 Immingham dualling scheme are vital trade routes to the road freight network which have been identified by FTA members as in need of urgent improvement.
Malcolm Bingham, Head of Road Freight Management Policy for FTA said: “New approaches to accelerated delivery are very welcome. There is public concern that when motorway schemes are bring carried out there seems to be long periods of time where no work is being done. Moving towards a 24 hour operation with more people working on multiple phases at once will of course speed up the delivery and most importantly demonstrate that works are being done as quickly as possible.”