Roads in south-west England are to benefit from £200 million of improvements as part of a national investment scheme. The government-run company in charge of the country’s major roads will spend the money on more than 120 separate projects designed to improve journeys across the region.

The money comes from the government’s Road Investment Strategy, which is providing more than £27 billion for projects up and down the country. The work is being carried out by Highways England, the organisation in charge of the country’s motorways and major A-roads.

In the south-west of England, the £200 million will be spent on numerous projects, including works on the M4 and M5 motorways, as well as the A40 and A38. The changes afoot include road resurfacing and maintenance, the creation of cycle lanes and improved signage and landscaping.

UK roadworks cones and directional signs on motorway

Among the most important projects will be the addition of a new lane on the M4 at junction 15, which Highways England claims will offer “improved access to housing and jobs”. At the same time, £20 million will be spent on the M5 between junctions 23 and 25, introducing message signs, incident detection and signalling, plus queue protection and speed management technology. All of which will be backed up by enhanced CCTV coverage.

On the A38, meanwhile, Highways England plans to widen the footpath on the Mowhay bridge in Plymouth to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians. And on the A40 in Gloucestershire, Highways England will upgrade six miles of cycleway.

UK motorway services roadworks cones

“This government is committed to levelling-up transport right across the country, helping people get to work or education, and to see family and friends,” said roads minister Baroness Vere. “This multi-million-pound investment is a real reflection of that commitment. It will ensure road-users right across the south west enjoy safer, quicker journeys, and that the local economy can build back better from the pandemic."

Meanwhile Highways England regional director Andrew Page-Dove said the improvements would help to keep road users safe and make sure the roads flow more freely.

“Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads every day for work journeys, home deliveries and the movement of the goods and services, so it’s essential we keep them in a good condition to ensure safety and reliability,” he said. “With this investment, Highways England will continue to deliver the essential maintenance and upgrades throughout the region to improve safety and help keep drivers on the move."