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Shapps backs second M25 development consent in a week 

Words: Huw Morris
M25 / Shutterstock_1213390615

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has backed a second upgrade of the M25 within a week.

Shapps has granted a development consent order (DCO) following an application by National Highways to upgrade the M25’s Junction 28. Last week, he granted planning permission for the M25/A3 junction upgrade at Wisley in Surrey.

The latest upgrade will see a new two-lane loop road with hard shoulder for traffic travelling from the M25 northbound carriageway on to the A12 towards Essex, with four bridges built at the junction, which is between Brentwood and Romford. Additional capacity will also be added to slip roads and the junction reconfigured to prevent queues forming and causing congestion on the M25. 

National Highways said the junction is used by about 7,500 vehicles every hour during peak times. Shapps noted modelling which indicated that by 2037 without further intervention there would be a further deterioration in traffic conditions at junction 28 with delays at more than three times those currently experienced and average speeds reduced by 25 per cent.

He also found that the proposal “would have no likely significant effects on air quality and would accord with all legislation and policy requirements” and accepted the examining authority’s ruling that it would be unlikely to have a material impact on the UK Government meeting reduction targets for the 4th Carbon Budget. 

However, the transport secretary modified the DCO to require the applicant to carry out an independent review of the proposed bridges and structures’ design and to consult local planning and highway authorities.
 A ruling on the DCO was expected last December, but Shapps delayed a decision for “further consideration of environmental matters”, a factor also present in the M25/A3 upgrade.

Image credit | Shutterstock