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Nearly £2 billion-worth of roads construction have secured planning permission over the last 12 months as the Government’s plans to accelerate large highways schemes gains pace.

There was a 6% rise in the value of roads projects starting on site in Q3 2022 compared to the previous three months and more work is coming through the pipeline.

Detailed planning approvals in the wider civil engineering sector leapt 63% in Q3 2022 on the preceding quarter according to Glenigan’s construction market research.

Economics director Allan Wilén comments: “This increase is largely due to an 85% quarter-on-quarter rise in the value of major projects and is partly driven by roads schemes.”

Major roads projects approved include a £100 million upgrade of the A47 and the A11 at Thickthorn on the outskirts of Norwich (Project ID: 14432363). Galliford Try recently secured a development consent order to start the work, which will support the development of 3,000 homes in the area.

Value of roads projects with detailed planning - 12 months to Q3 2022

Sector Value (£m)
East of England 1,316.5
South East 314.0
Yorkshire & Humberside 101.1
North West 92.1
Scotland 72.1
East Midlands 35.0
North East 16.6
South West 8.5
Northern Ireland 6.8
West Midlands 6.5
London 5.0
Wales 1.3
TOTAL 1,975.4

Source: Glenigan

Regional pipeline

The biggest pipeline of roads work is in the East of England, where a swathe of schemes are moving forward from the A11/A47 scheme to another £100 million project on the A47 from Blofield to North Burlingham (Project ID: 16133900). The scheme has been deemed a Nationally Significant Infrastructure project.

So has a £500 million plan to dual a stretch of single carriageway section between Caxton Gibbet west of Cambridge and the M1 at the A1 Black Cat roundabout (Project ID: 14433542). This project was granted planning permission, but now faces a legal challenge.

The region experiencing the next largest swathe of planned roads work is the South East, where VolkerWessels has bagged an £81 million deal to upgrade junction 10 of the M27 near Fareham in Hampshire (Project ID: 21563601). VolkerWessels is working with lead designer Ramboll on the design and expects to start construction in the New Year.

Coming up for grabs

There are also a number of major roads schemes coming up with contractors yet to be appointed.

A £23 million plan from Wigan Council and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive to build a link road between junction 26 of the M6 and the A571 has planning permission and is due to start in January (Project ID: 13268069).

Procurement is also due to start soon on the £38.5 million A509 Isham Bypass (Project ID: 94282870), which was one of 86 roads schemes included in the Growth Plan published by the Government in September 2022.

Speeding Up

The acceleration in roads projects is also being aided by the Project Speed programme, which stands for Swift, Pragmatic and Efficient Enhancement Delivery and aims to accelerate the development of major infrastructure schemes including roads.

The biggest roads scheme assigned Project Speed status so far is the £1.3 billion Northern Trans-Pennine proposal (Project ID: 17343745). The plan to dual an 18-mile section of single carriageway on the A66 and improve key junctions between junction 40 of the M6 at Penrith and the A1 at Scotch Corner has pathfinder status. The scheme must be open by 2029, and four contractors - Balfour Beatty, Costain, Kier and Keltbray – recently signed an enterprise-wide collaborative working agreement to design and build the project.

More collaborative working will help bring roads projects forward sooner and boost supply chains in difficult times.

Glenigan customers can see details of all new roads construction if part of your subscription.

Not a Glenigan customer, but would like to see detailed sales leads for new roads construction? Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.

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Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.