Highways England to spend £1.8bn on improving West Midlands transport hub

Highways England laid out plans to deliver £1.8bn of road improvements in the West Midlands at a supplier event in Birmingham today (29 September).

The investment will see improvements and repairs rolled out across major roads and motorways in the region over the next six years.

The work is part of government plans to triple the level of spending on roads by the end of the decade, announced last year.

Highways England’s plans include:

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

The strategy also includes a multi-million pound investment into maintenance schemes, environmental improvements and provision for cyclists.

Highways England regional director, Tim Harbot, said: “These new schemes will bring huge improvements to journeys around the Midlands.

“The government has committed record funding to specific transport projects here so the Midlands can act as a transport hub for the entire country.”

Roads minister Andrew Jones said: “Successive governments have failed to invest the sums necessary in transport. In many parts the system is at capacity. That is why we are committing a record £5.2bn in total to specific transport projects in the Midlands, so that the region can act as a transport hub for the entire country.”

Highways England has claimed that its plans for a smart motorway at the M42/M40 interchange and the development and design of a new link road connecting the M54, M6 and the M6 toll will reduce congestion at peak times, allow for growth in the area and improve safety.

The M6 junction 10 scheme also aims to provide significant additional capacity at the junction. Part funded by the Black Country’s Local Growth Deal, it will include the replacement of both bridges allowing the widening of the roundabout to four lanes, giving improved access to the Darlaston Enterprise Zone.

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

Murray Hogg seeing red with 10 new Mercedes-Benz trucks

Murray Hogg has bought 10 new Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks from Bell Truck and Van.

Four of the vehicles are 26-tonne rigid curtainsiders with Lawrence David bodywork, decked out in client Stelrad’s colours. The remaining six are BigSpace tractor units in Murray Hogg’s traditional red.

Director Colin Hogg said: “We’ve been using Mercedes-Benz trucks without problems for years. They’re always very well-built and the service we receive from Bell Truck and Van is first class.”

The haulier is a Pall-Ex member and runs a fleet of 90 CVs.

Pall-Ex Benelux will be launched at the start of 2016. The latest addition of the group will cover the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium, with a hub in the latter.