Jobs boost as £22m spent on East road improvements

Traffic on the A14
Image caption The A14 is the main east-west artery linking the ports at Felixstowe and Harwich to the Midlands

Almost £22m has been earmarked for "vital" road improvements in the East, the transport secretary has announced.

Patrick McLoughlin said upgrades to the A14, A1, A1(M), A47 and A120 were part of a £217m national programme to keep traffic moving and boost the economy.

The £21.96m allocated to the Highways could help support the creation of more than 24,000 jobs by 2020, he said.

It could also support the planned building of almost 35,000 new homes in the east of England in the same period.

Almost £8m is to be spent on widening the heavily congested A14 in Cambridgeshire, between Histon and Girton, to deal with increased traffic expected as a result of building the new town of Northstowe.

'Securing prosperity'

The road is also the major east-west artery linking the ports at Felixstowe and Harwich with Northamptonshire and the M6.

Some of the improvements will begin as early as next year and all are expected to be completed by 2015.

Mr McLoughlin said: "These £217m road improvements prove the government's determination to accelerate growth and cut congestion.

"Keeping traffic moving is vital to securing prosperity.

"By removing bottlenecks and improving access to local enterprise zones, key international trading ports and communities, these road schemes will help get people to and from work and power the economy."

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said it had met with local enterprise partnerships and councils to determine the extent of proposed business and residential development in the region.

Funds were allocated to six schemes in the east to "ensure the infrastructure is in place to support those developments", she added.

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