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Prime Minister and Chancellor visit Catthorpe Interchange

Chancellor George Osborne (left) and Prime Minister David Cameron (right) during a visit to the Skanska site office to view the M1 Junction 19 Improvement Scheme in Leicestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 22, 2014. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne (left) and Prime Minister David Cameron (right) during a visit to the Skanska site office to view the M1 Junction 19 Improvement Scheme in Leicestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 22, 2014. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne visited the Catthorpe Interchange to trumpet UK infrastructure projects.

They highlighted that more than 200 projects in rail, road, transport, flood defences, broadband, airport infrastructure and waste management are due to start construction in 2014/15 or are already under way.

These include the M1/M6/A14 Junction 19 Catthorpe Interchange work in the Lutterworth and Northamptonshire area.

The junction is important for north/south and east/west traffic movements across the UK with the M6/A14 route also part of the Ireland UK Benelux Trans-European network.

The scheme is costing £191m with £55m being spent this financial year. Work started in January and is expected to be completed by autumn 2016.

It will benefit 142,000 motorists who are estimated to use the junction every day.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor visited the Skanska site office at the interchange this afternoon at about 3.30pm.

Mr Cameron said: “Ensuring Britain has first-class infrastructure is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan: supporting business, creating jobs and providing a better future for hardworking people.

“As a crucial part of our long-term economic plan, this Government is backing business with better infrastructure so that more jobs and opportunities are created for hardworking people, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families.”

Mr Osborne added: “As part of our long-term economic plan we are investing in infrastructure around the country to create a more balanced, resilient economy.

“Because of the tough decisions we have taken in day-to-day spending, we can prioritise public investment where it is most needed and create the right conditions for private investment in infrastructure where it brings value for the taxpayer.

“So this year over 200 new projects worth an estimated £36 billion are due to start, creating thousands of jobs, securing future growth and delivering the world class infrastructure Britain deserves.”

Other infrastructure projects due to be completed this year including major roadworks to the M6 J10A-13, the Nottingham tram extension, Heathrow Terminal 2 upgrade and Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm, which is the largest in construction anywhere in Europe.

The projects due to start construction this year are part of £36bn of planned investment of which £5bn is public investment, £21bn private investment and £10bn in joint public and private investment in infrastructure across the country that could support over 150,000 jobs in construction and many thousands more in other sectors following completion, said the Cabinet Office in a press release today.

This includes the start of a £38 billion programme of rail spending over the next five years.

In addition, there is expected to be further investment of up to £15bn in oil and gas later this year.

The Catthorpe scheme is aiming to provide better links for A14 traffic to the M1 and M6 motorways, relieve congestion and improve journey reliability, improve road safety, separate local traffic from long-distance traffic, and improve conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.

The works include realignment of the existing links between the M1 to M6 northbound and M6 to M1 southbound, a separate local road to link the villages of Swinford and Catthorpe, including a link to the A5, separating non-motorway traffic from the junction, construction of six new bridges and demolition of two existing bridges, incorporating the replacement Catthorpe Viaduct carrying the M6 southbound over the M1 into the scheme and adding approximately 1.5 miles of new bridleways along the River Avon.

It will delivers £5 of benefits for every pound invested and will employ 250 people during its construction, said the Cabinet Office.

Story by Alex Blackwell

Follow Alex on Twitter, @BlackwellHarb.

 

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