‘Bold ideas’ to get traffic moving - The Evesham Observer

‘Bold ideas’ to get traffic moving

Evesham Editorial 8th Jun, 2018   0

A MAJOR transformation of the A46 through Evesham into an expressway of two or more lanes in each direction is among the recommendations in a bold, long-term vision to reduce congestion on the Midlands’ motorways.

Midlands Connect, the pan-regional transport partnership, unveiled ten recommendations to tackle congestion and get the country moving faster in their ‘Midlands Motorway Hub’ report, completed in collaboration with Highways England.

The blueprint was revealed on Wednesday and outlines 10 measures for ridding the heart of Britain’s motorway network of congestion over the next two decades, to help grow the economy both the Midlands and the wider UK.

Report chiefs said transforming the A46 would provide a significantly faster and reliable route acting as a viable alternative to the M42 for trips between the South West and Humberside.

“This corridor has the potential to fulfil a significant national and regional economic function, unlocking employment and housing growth sites,” the report read.

Another recommendation is to consider in greater detail the long term economic case for a Western Strategic Route, linking the M5 and the M6 in the West Midlands.

Data shows a Western Strategic Route could shift around 20 per cent of the traffic travelling through the region from the M6 in the north and M5 in the south away from the motorways, and could have a transformational impact on the economic performance of the Black Country, connecting up to 45,000 new homes in proposed garden villages.

Maria Machancoses, Director at Midlands Connect, said: “This long term plan shows the Midlands needs a strategic solution for its road network, not a quick fix. There is no ‘silver bullet’ solution to fixing congestion; the recommendations outlined in this report are a bold statement of intent as to what is required to make the Midlands’ motorway network fit for purpose.

Network planning director for Highways England, Jeremy Bloom said: “We welcome the publication of this report, which highlights the importance of the Midlands Hub to the country’s road network and to the regional economy.

“We recognise that the network in the Midlands suffers from extensive congestion and agree that a vision for the future will help us to develop an investment strategy that solves the problems over the longer term.

“Clearly this won’t happen overnight but this report provides us with the foundation to plan improvements over the next two decades. We are committed to working closely with Midlands Connect to make this a reality.”

Following the release of the Midlands Motorway Hub study, some of the key recommendations will now be taken forward for further consideration.

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