Leicestershire County Council’s A511 Coalville Growth Corridor plans have been included in a priority list for government funding by Sub-national Transport Body Midlands Connect, with a request for £42 million to deliver it.
The scheme is among 11 in the Midlands submitted to the Department for Transport, as part of a £3.5 billion fund available for local road improvements from 2020-2025.
The A511 Coalville Growth Corridor proposals include junction improvements at nine locations between the A42 Junction 13 at Ashby-de-la-Zouch and the M1 Junction 22, some localised widening and a new link road, connecting the A511 to Bardon Link Road, creating a new north-south link across Coalville.
Midlands Connect was empowered by the Department for Transport (DfT) to work with the 22 councils in its partnership to identify priority schemes to improve local roads in the region. The fund covers upgrades to the Major Road Network (MRN), a new category of the busiest and most economically important local authority ‘A’ roads, and “Large Local Major” (LLM) schemes, which focus on bigger upgrades to local roads.
The MRN was established by the government to focus on funding schemes that will 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.
Following detailed consultation and a rigorous assessment, Midlands Connect has submitted 11 schemes to the DfT for consideration, in the West and East Midlands.
The total cost of the A511 scheme is estimated at £49 million, of which developers would contribute £7 million. If successful, Leicestershire County Council would deliver the physical infrastructure required.
The total Midlands-wide funding request to the government is £596 million, with an additional £143 million funded locally.
Simon Statham, Midlands Connect’s head of technical programmes, said:
“This is a really ambitious proposal from Leicestershire County Council, who provided compelling evidence that this scheme will help create new jobs and homes, improve access to East Midlands Airport and major employers like Amazon and Bardon Hill Quarry, and improve air quality by reducing congestion.
“We are confident that we have provided all of the evidence the government needs to fund all 11 of our priority schemes in full, and we expect to be celebrating a £600 million investment in to the region to help our local authority partners get on and deliver this transformational programme of upgrades.”
Coalville is at the heart of a rapidly growing logistics network, and Amazon is already here. Our proposals will help cut congestion and improve bus journey times, as well as support the M1 and M42 as a major gateway to East Midlands Airport. It is vital we receive this money so we can put infrastructure improvements in place to support housing, growth and general employment opportunitiesPerson:Blake Pain, county council cabinet member for environment and transport
Andrew Bridgen MP (North West Leicestershire) said:
“This would be fantastic news for Coalville and the surrounding area. We have campaigned for many years to improve the gateway to Leicester, the M1 and the M42 and to relieve the pressure on congestion hotspots such as Bardon Road. Following this announcement, I will lobby the Government to ensure that scheme is delivered to support and enhance our local economy.”
Councillor Robert Ashman, deputy leader of North West Leicestershire District Council, also welcomed the A511 announcement. He said:
“This is great news for North West Leicestershire and the Coalville area in particular. The A511 is a vital link between the A42 and M1 and the upgrade to the existing road will help better accommodate the increased growth for this area and to alleviate impact of the increased traffic on our local communities. The proposals will also include improvements to the pedestrian crossings and cycle-ways along the road.
“We’re grateful for the support of MP Andrew Bridgen and local councillors who, over many years, have lobbied for these much-needed improvements and, working closely with central government, Leicestershire County Council and Midlands Connect, we are now much closer to getting the work done.”
Midlands Connect is encouraging the government to allocate funding for shortlisted schemes as soon as possible to ensure their smooth delivery.