THE hard shoulder of the M27 between Fareham and Southampton will become an extra traffic lane with a variable speed limit in a bid to ease congestion.
The Department for Transport said funding is in place for the scheme, plus another to see the six roundabout junctions on the 3.5-mile A27 Chichester Bypass upgraded.
The cash is going to come out of a £28bn fund first announced in the government’s infrastructure spending review a fortnight ago.
The report also mentions the creation of an ‘electric spine’, an electrified rail passenger and freight corridor linking the core centres of population and business in Yorkshire and the Midlands with ports in the south of England.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the investment will be underpinned in law to ensure the plans go ahead no matter which party wins in the general election in May 2015.
Mr McLoughlin said: ‘Our major roads are vital to the prosperity of our nation, connecting people to jobs and businesses to markets. They carry a third of all traffic and two-thirds of all freight traffic but in recent decades we have failed to invest properly in them.
‘That underinvestment has seen us fall behind many of our economic competitors.
‘Since 1990, France has built more motorway miles than exist on our entire network, while Canada, Japan and Australia all spend four times more on their roads than we do.
‘Today’s changes will bring an end to the short-term thinking that has blighted investment in England’s roads so that we can deliver the infrastructure our economy needs.
‘Backed by the Government’s £28bn commitment, they will give us a road network fit for the 21st century and beyond.’
In a separate announcement, the government has announced a Local Transport Body will be set up in the Solent region to hand out £19.2m of funds to pay for upgrades to infrastructure. The fund is around a third lower than expected when the plan was first unveiled in January, but there will be extra funding available for projects administered directly from central government.
The Solent LTB is expected to publish details of its projects later this month.