Improved access to the Black Country will boost business prospects

Road access to the Black Country is already excellent, but with £1.8bn of government investment recently designated to improve the capacity and condition of roads in the Midlands, our region is set to become an even better place to do business.
Highways England pic
Highways England has recently set out how £1.8bn of government investment will improve the capacity and condition of roads in the Midlands.

The investment will see improvements and repairs along a series of motorways and A roads between now and 2021, giving road users simpler, faster journeys and more reliable routes. It is also hoped that the investment will boost the area’s economy and help to bring the country closer together.

The work is part of the government’s ‘Road Investment Strategy’ to triple levels of spending on roads by the end of the decade. Highways England, the government-owned company which took over responsibility for England’s motorways and major A roads earlier this year, has recently set out its plan for the Midlands region.

Highlights include:

* Improvements to M42 junction 6
* A new smart motorway around the M42/M40 interchange
* The development of a new link road connecting the M54, M6 and M6 Toll
* A new, bigger M6 junction 10
* Plans to replace roundabouts at A50 Uttoxeter
* The widening of the A500 at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent
* A new smart motorway between M6 junctions 13 and 15
* Improvements to the A46 junctions
* A new smart motorway between junction 2 and 4 of the M6
* Improvement for the A38 Derby junctions
* The widening of the A5 from Dodwells to Longshoot
* A new smart motorway between junction 23a and 25 of the M1.

Across the Midlands, Highways England will also invest in maintenance schemes, environmental improvements and provision for cyclists.

The M6 Junction 10 scheme, with part funding from the Black Country’s Local Growth Deal, will provide significant additional capacity at the junction. It will include the replacement of both bridges, allowing the widening of the roundabout to four lanes, and giving improved access to the Darlaston Enterprise Zone.

Across the West Midlands, Highways England will spend around £600m on maintenance, including £160m to resurface more than 900 miles of carriageway; £225m for repairing and renewing structures like bridges and viaducts; and £60m to improve vehicle barriers.

Are you thinking of investing or expanding your business in the Black Country? For business support and inward investment advice contact Think Sandwell today.

[Image courtesy of Highways England.]