Road schemes promise greening work

Environmental and ecological aspects of infrastructure programme will create opportunities for landscaping contractors.

The Government's £30bn boost to infrastructure projects announced last week has already thrown up possible landscape, arboriculture and ecology works.

Hours after chancellor George Osborne unveiled the package in his autumn statement (HW, 2 December), Nottinghamshire County Council was hailing a £160m investment promise as one of Osborne's fast-track road and rail projects.

The autumn statement outlined details of projects that would receive funding. One was the widening of the A453 road between Nottingham, the M1 and East Midlands Airport. At present, the route is a traffic-choked 11km single carriageway.

The Highways Agency said: "Work is for this spending review period to 2015 and we will build environmental, sustainability and ecological aspects into the scheme. It may be that main contractors subcontract landscaping but there will be plenty of greening to be done."

Council leader Kay Cutts, said: "This is the best Christmas gift for businesses in Nottinghamshire. The project will give a huge boost to the East Midlands economy." The council has pledged £20m to the scheme.

A council spokesman added: "The single carriageway is snarled up every morning and night and costs larger businesses as much as £100,000 a year in increased fuel use, difficulty reaching customers, abandoned journeys and accident costs."

Elsewhere, the Government funding injection includes £290m for roadworks near Manchester Airport, £270m for work on the M3 and M6, and cash to create a bypass in Torbay, Devon. Railways and bridges also benefited.

Improving safety

In the five years to 2010, there were 185 accidents causing injury on the Nottinghamshire section of the A453. The council said widening it will enable 30,000 vehicles a day to travel the route and deliver a £540m boost to the local economy.

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