Midlands Connect to give six councils money to develop the case for investment in local roads

Midlands Connect is giving six local authorities up to £50,000 to develop the case for investment in local roads.

The investment will allow local councils to assess the feasibility of key schemes in their area, potentially paving the way for Government support.

The Major Road Network (MRN) forms a middle tier of the country’s busiest and most economically-important local authority ‘A’ roads. The schemes supported will all reduce congestion, support housing and employment growth, encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, and provide better links to motorways and major trunk roads, said the report.

These schemes, submitted by local authorities, were assessed for their feasibility, deliverability and ability to ease congestion. Each of the improvements is linked to wider regional priorities and objectives, including securing economic renewal, boosting productivity and supporting new housing development, as well as encouraging active travel such as walking and cycling, reports the Business Desk.

In recent years, Midlands Connect in conjunction with local councils has been able to secure £206m for a series of projects throughout the region like the North Hykeham Relief Road in Lincolnshire, Birchley Island in Sandwell, A511 in Leicestershire and the A614 in Nottinghamshire.

The cash given to these local authorities comes from the Midlands Connect ‘MRN preparation fund’, which forms part of the organisation’s core funding given to them from the Department for Transport.

MRN and strategic roads manager Swati Mittal said: “We are delighted to support these critical schemes throughout the region, using our expertise to allow Local Authorities to make the case to Government for funding. Midlands Connect explores, develops and recommends transport projects which will provide the biggest possible economic, environmental and social benefits for the Midlands. These projects will deliver economic uplift, jobs and development opportunities throughout the region.

“We will also be examining how these schemes can contribute to decarbonisation, the take up of public transport and active travel. It’s essential that all road investments have these objectives at their heart.”

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