Grant Shapps has given National Highways the formal go-ahead to start work on a major scheme on the M25, having delayed his decision since December.
The transport secretary has given development consent for the M25 junction 28 improvements, which are due to cost between £120m and £150m, nearly two years after the government-owned company first submitted its application to the Planning Inspectorate.
The scheme was part of a backlog of projects where Mr Shapps’ decision on the Planning Inspectorate’s recommendation is awaited. It passed its decision to him on 6 September 2021 and last December he postponed the deadline for a response to this week.
Last week Mr Shapps ruled in favour of another National Highways junction upgrade on the M25 – Junction 10 at Wisley, having delayed his decision since January.
National Highways said the heavily used Junction 28 (pictured above) plays a vital role in connecting the M25 with the A12, as well as providing local access to Brentwood and the A1023 Brook Street, but suffers from long queues and heavy congestion daily, with up to 7,500 vehicles per hour passing through the junction at peak times.
It said the scheme will improve the flow of traffic and allow more capacity on the exit slip roads, providing a safer and more integrated network for everyone. There will also be less likelihood of traffic queuing back onto the M25 due to the reconfiguration of the junction, the government-owned company said.
National Highways' regional delivery director Chris Welby-Everard said: ‘Our proposals to improve the M25 at Junction 28 are good for business and jobs, good for road safety and good for the environment, making journeys safer and more reliable.
‘We have listened carefully to the views of all stakeholders and are delighted with today’s announcement.’
The scheme includes a loop road connecting the anti-clockwise M25 to the A12 eastbound
Work is expected to start in the autumn.
Last year National Highways awarded GRAHAM a contract worth £124m to design and build the scheme, a significant increase on an estimated cost of £79.5m at the time of the preferred route announcement in 2017.