Two Highways England improvement schemes have been opened in the Midlands, easing the journeys of thousands of travellers.
The £191 million scheme to improve journeys for drivers using a major interchange on the M1 in the Midlands improves the flow of traffic at junction 19 (Catthorpe), where the M1, M6 and A14 meet. Highways England says this has revolutionised the journeys made by more than 150,000 vehicles through the area every day and is, “The latest example of Highways England delivering more than £15 billion of investment across England.”
For motorists the scheme’s completion means they no longer have to navigate a junction travelling between the M6 and A14, there are free flow links between the A14 and M1, the M1 northbound to M6 westbound link and the M6 eastbound to M1 southbound link are open and a there is a new local link road, re-connecting the villages of Catthorpe and Swinford, and with the A5 is also open to traffic.
Highways England Chairman Colin Matthews said, “The £191 million new interchange has made a huge difference to people’s journeys by improving access to the A14 corridor and removing queueing traffic on the M1, M6 and A14 approaches.
“I know it has been talked about for many years and it’s easy to see benefits of smoother and more reliable journeys on these key routes.
“The improvement means journeys will be shorter and safer, with more vehicles able to pass through, and less congestion.
“This project has been delivered on time and on budget and is a great achievement for our own team and our contractors.”
The new east-west link between the villages of Catthorpe and Swinford now runs beneath the M1-M6 link, and the M6, and connects the villages with the A5, and for the first time in more than 20 years local traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are separated from long-distance traffic, particularly HGVs.
Highways England has also created a new public right of way/bridleway between Swinford and Catthorpe, a footway alongside the new local road between Swinford and Catthorpe and a new footpath to the north of the A14, as well as areas for wildlife and trees.
Speed restrictions have been lifted from all carriageways except the M1 southbound where the current 50mph restriction remains in place from just north of the A14 eastbound as part of the ongoing M1 junction 16-19 smart motorway scheme.
Elsewhere in the Midlands, Highways England’s England’s £106 million improvement scheme at Tollbar End in Coventry was officially opened today.
The major project to create free-flowing traffic will reduce the volume of traffic using the Tollbar End roundabout by providing a two lane dual carriageway underpass link and a larger layout designed to reduce congestion.
For motorists the scheme’s completion means motorists travelling along the A45 Stonebridge Highway and A46 Coventry Eastern Bypass now have a free-flow link under Tollbar roundabout, there is an improved and larger Tollbar roundabout with improved access to the existing route, a widened A45 Stonebridge Highway, which is now a three lane dual carriageway between the new Tollbar roundabout and Stivichall junction which improves capacity and safety.