£490 million road fund made available to councils

Councils across England have the opportunity to bid for a share of £490 million in order to improve their roads.

The funding, which will be for schemes from 2018 to 2020, is designed to tackle congestion and provide upgrades to local roads to improve journey times.

Bids are encouraged for a wide variety of schemes which will cut congestion, including by making use of technology and by opening up the data held by local councils.

The pot of money is from the National Productivity Investment Fund, which is providing £1.3 billion to enhance transport links to boost growth.

£185 million is already being used to improve roads in Blackpool, create better access to the M65 near Blackburn, improve the A483 and A55, and expand Chester Business Park.

Highways England is also spending £220 million on congestion relief schemes at identified traffic hotspots. This is providing £90 million for pinch point projects in the north, £23 million for the Midlands, £53 million for the south-east, £32 million for the south-west and £16 million for the east.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “We are investing record amounts on our roads – spending more than £23 billion on providing better journeys for motorists.

“We are also committing a further £1.3 billion up to 2020 to cut congestion and provide important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future.

“This money will allow councils to go even further to improve their roads and will be targeted at areas which need it most, providing a significant boost to the UK’s economy.”

The bidding will run until 30 June.

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