Major transport infrastructure schemes given green light

Two Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) have been granted development consent orders by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Both transport schemes were decided under the Planning Act 2008 regime following a six-month examination process by the Planning Inspectorate.

Luton Council’s proposals to upgrade Junction 10a of the M1 motorway was formally approved this week.

The scheme aims to reduce congestion at the existing roundabout-controlled junction by replacing it with a continuous and widened carriageway between the M1 Junction 10 and A1081 Airport Way.

New roundabouts and slip roads would give access to a re-aligned London Road, which would pass under the existing M1 spur.

The DfT decision letter said transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin understood there was a "strong case" for the scheme both in road-capacity terms and for economic-development.

According to Luton Council, the scheme is in line to receive support from the Regional Growth Fund and Growth Area Funding from the Homes & Communities Agency.

Separately, Network Rail’s proposals to introduce double-tracking of a 3-kilometre stretch of branch line at Redditch, in Worcestershire, have also been approved.

The so-called "dynamic loop" would allow trains to pass on the line, which connects Redditch with Lichfield via central Birmingham on rail operator London Midland’s Cross City Line.

Network Rail said the stretch of double track would allow it to run an extra service every hour between Reddich and Birmingham New Street Station, increasing capacity by one-third.

The decision letter said McLoughlin agreed that the scheme would deliver capacity enhancements on the line.

It added that there had been strong support for the scheme in reports by Worcestershire County Council and Bromsgrove District Council in connection with planned housing developments.

These and other decision letters can found at Compass Online (subscription service). 

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