Construction and engineering companies are gearing up to upgrade 400 miles of concrete roads and motorways in the biggest renewal programme ever embarked upon in England.

Originally built in the 1960s and 1970s when traffic volumes were half of what they are today, concrete roads have endured decades of use and hundreds of millions of journeys and they are now in need of vital repair.

In response, Highways England has announced two contracts worth £285m to begin upgrading the surface, with a total of £400m invested over the next five years.

It will work with Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, John Sisk & Son, VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac to either repair or replace the roads, which are mostly found along the eastern side of the country.

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Transport Minister Baroness Vere said: “Today’s news is fantastic for motorists across the country, bringing thousands of drivers a step closer to smoother and more reliable journeys.

“This huge renewals programme, which is part of our £27 billion investment in the country’s roads, will help ensure the nation’s road network is fit for the future.”

Martin Fellows, Highways England Regional Director, said: “Concrete roads have served the country well since they were first built half a century ago.

“They have proved tough and durable over the years, helping every day for work journeys and home deliveries, visits to friends and family, holidays, and the movement of the goods and services that we all depend on.”