28 September 2020

New UK Road Plans That Could Make Your Journey Better

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 2 seconds. Contains 1209 words

Traffic, roadworks, closures, these are all words we’re fed up of hearing when we make our daily commutes These can especially become an issue when your profession is taxiing passengers from destination to destination,

Fortunately for us, the government is already aware of these issues and are actively working on improving these. Here are a list of the new road improvements we’re most looking forward to:


1. A55 Britannia Bridge Improvement

The A55 is almost completely dual carriageway from Holyhead to Chester, connecting North Wales (and the preceding ferries to/from Ireland) to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester, and London. However, currently the crucial connection between the mainland and the Isle of Anglesey remains a single carriageway, often resulting in traffic jams in both directions, especially during crucial holiday seasons.

The Welsh government currently have plans to fix this by building a new bridge to ensure the A55 remains a dual carriageway for the complete route. With construction expected to begin in 2021, there are three current proposals on how to improve the bridge.

– Widen the existing Britannia Bridge to include new traffic lanes

– Add a new bridge directly to the left of Britannia Bridge

– Add a new bridge directly to the right of Britannia Bridge

– Add a new bridge much further to the east of Britannia Bridge


2. M54/M6 Northbound Link

If you’re driving in Shrewsbury or Telford and want to head north on the M6, you’re unfortunately pretty much out of luck currently. The existing M54 currently only connects to the M6 southbound, leading traffic heading north to rely on the single carriageway A460 to connect between the roads.

However, Highways England is currently looking into different ways to fix this issue. Whilst there can be no direct slip road from the M54 to the M6 northbound due to Hilton Park service station, there exists a plan to link M54 junction 1 with M6 junction 11 with a brand new high-speed dual carriageway (it is currently unknown whether or not this new road will be designated as a motorway).


3. A9 Dualling Perth – Inverness

Travelling between Inverness and Perth in Scotland is tough. Though 30 miles of the route are already dual carriageway, much of the route remains single carriageway, going in and out between mountains.

Under new plans, the entire route will be converted into a non-stop dual carriageway between the two towns, creating a seamless and much faster journey time.


4. Preston Western Distributor Road

Preston arguably has one of the best city road networks in the country. Connected to most parts of the country through 4 different motorways to the north and east, the city notably lacks any vital roads to the west. This is where the Preston westen distributor road comes to play.

The Preston Western Distributor road is expected to be completed around 2023; this road will link the A583 to the busy M55 motorway. The scheme will also include two new roads connecting to the housing areas in West Preston and Cottam. This will help alleviate traffic from the heavily congested roads of central Preston.


5. Stubbington Bypass

Anybody wanting to travel to or from the town of Gosport currently has to drive through the nearby Stubbington village. The Stubbington bypass, as its name suggests, aims to take all the longer distance traffic onto a new single carriageway road that would bypass the town’s outskirts.

This bypass will run through around three miles of farmland near Stubbington village, before rejoining the original road near Gosport.


6. M60 Junction 18 Improvements

Currently, the M60 at junction 18 is the meeting point of three motorways, the M60, M62 and M66. Originally, this road was just the meeting point between the M62 and M66, but when most of the motorways around Manchester were connected together and renumbered as the M60, suddenly that meant M60 clockwise traffic that wanted to remain on the M60 now had to leave the motorway at this junction, and immediately rejoin. As a result, this creates a lot of traffic onto one congested roundabout.

Current plans include building a northern loop at the junction, allowing clockwise traffic to remain on the M60 without having to exit the motorway at all. This will help to avoid congestion and more seamless movement for other traffic moving across the junction.


7. M25 Junction 25 Improvements

At junction 25 on the M25, the road meets the busy A10 highway. Currently, the road can get increasingly congested with traffic backing up onto the motorway, especially during peak rush hour times. It is estimated that if nothing is done by 2037, average speeds could reduce by up to 30%, with more widespread disruption following incidents.

The current improvement plans include to add extra lanes on the roundabout and M25 sliproads to create faster movement and allow higher capacity of vehicles, as well as to provide a free-flow left turn from the M25 clockwise to the A10 north, allowing traffic to move between the roads without using the roundabout.


8. Gallions Reach Crossing

East London is in desperate need of a river crossing. Whilst over 30 Thames bridge crossings exist to connect both sides of the river, the last bridge in London before the A282 (M25) crossing is Tower Bridge. Besides that, there are no other road crossings apart from the Blackwall Tunnels, which are over 11 miles to the west.

The Gallions Reach Crossing aims to fix this issue. Placed between Beckton and Thamesmead, it would provide a much needed relief for those who regularly rely on the Woolwich ferry crossing to cross the river.


9. Lower Thames Crossing

Perhaps the grandest and most ambitious project on this list. Aiming to relieve the eastern M25 from congestion, the Lower Thames Crossing (also known as the Third Thames Crossing) is a planned 6 lane superhighway that would leave the M25 at North Ockendon, head eastwards past Grays, go under the Thames, before meeting the A2/M2 at Thong. The route would also have junctions with the A13 and A1039 roads.

Highways England is currently hoping this project will open to the public in 2027. Should this project be completed, the 2.6 mile twin tunnels would be the longest road tunnels in the United Kingdom.


10. A57 Trans-Pennine Upgrade

The existing M67 motorway was meant to connect Manchester to Sheffield, however, the road doesn’t even get within 30 miles from Sheffield’s boundaries. Instead, it dumps 3 lanes of traffic onto a roundabout, leaving the single carriageways A57 and A628 to carry all the traffic. With frequent dangerous weather conditions, and a higher number of accidents than the national average, the road is currently inadequate as a route between 2 major cities.

The government is currently looking at 2 different methods at improving this road to support the rising number of vehicles using the road. One method includes dualling certain sections of the A628 to accommodate extra traffic. Another method, which would be much grander, includes building potential tunnels with a length varying from 12 miles to 20 miles.


11. A585 Windy Harbour Project

The A585 is the only major road connecting Fleetwood and Cleveleys to the rest of the country. As such, it is frequently congested with heavy traffic. For this reason, there are plans for a 3 mile dual carriageway bypass of the bottlenecks of Singleton and Shard Road Junction. Such a bypass will allow for traffic to move past at higher speeds and avoid congestion in village centres, reduce noise pollution for residential homes in the area, and provide a boost for the local economy.


BenKid77 M60 sign 1 250709” by Rept0n1x, used under CC BY-SA 3.0 / Modified from Original

Road signs, Dromore
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Albert Bridgegeograph.org.uk/p/1129889

M20 Motorway Heading West, Junction 3 For M26 (M25) – Half a Mile to go.
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Roy Hughesgeograph.org.uk/p/1280079

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