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The government has announced a £160.8m investment in four major road projects in Newcastle, Cornwall, Greater Manchester and Southampton.

The four major road schemes announced today (6 June) includes £78.5m for a new 6.2km road linking St Austell to the A30 – the main transport artery in Cornwall, which DfT said will create 6,300 new local jobs and cut journey times. A new shared pedestrian and cycle facility will also run alongside the whole length of the new road.

Another £35.3m has been earmarked for essential maintenance to the Tyne Bridge and adjacent Central Motorway, including improvements to traffic management and cycle route facilities.

The third scheme will see £33.6m spent on enhancing walking and cycling accessibility and tackle congestion across the A34 between Greater Manchester and Stockport.

The scheme aims to support the development of more than 2,500 new homes and 33.3 hectares of employment space, while boosting transport links to Manchester Airport and HS2.

The A35 Redbridge Causeway, which links the New Forest area to Southampton and its port, will also receive funding of £13.4 million for essential maintenance.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “We are committed to delivering world-class infrastructure across all parts of the country which supports local economies to thrive.

“This £160.8m investment will level up those opportunities from the North East to the South West, while giving motorists, cyclists and pedestrians the modern, safe and uncongested roads they deserve.

“These schemes also present yet another important stepping stone towards cutting emissions and building a clean, efficient road network that is truly accessible to all.”

Martin McTague, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “Investment in local infrastructure projects is vital to improving connectivity across the country, reducing congestion and upgrading the roads that small businesses use on a day to day basis.

“Small firms and sole traders rely heavily on road networks to be accessible, efficient and safe. They are also looking to reduce environmental impact and improve the air quality in their local community - and so embrace green travel options when they are available.

“Our economic recovery relies on a solid transport system and this latest investment is a positive step in the right direction."