Government promises new approach to road construction including 24-hour working

The government is to halve the time it takes major road building and expansion projects to be delivered, the prime minister has announced.

The government is to instigate a raft of construction procedures to speed up developments such as building more sections offsite; going through planning and design processes simultaneously and operating sites 24-hours a day.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry yesterday, David Cameron said: “In the 50s it took us eight years to design and build the first 50 miles of the M1. Today it can take that long just to widen one section of a motorway.”

The government said it’s conversion of 1km of motorway to managed motorway, where the hard shoulder is used as extra lane capacity, could be done in two weeks instead of four. While more traditional building of additional capacity, such as adding extra lanes, could see its completion time cut by 25%.

The government will trial its new approach on four projects: M3 junctions two and 4a; M6’s conversion to a managed motorway between junctions 10a to 13; M1’s conversion to a managed motorway between junction 28 and 31 and upgrading of the A160 and A180 to dual carriageways.

It expects the three motorway schemes to be completed by spring 2015 and the A-road projects to complete by 2016.