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Roads to Nowhere

Expressways coming your way

Highways England is developing its plans for Expressways. These will be a new approach to A roads to be delivered from 2020 onwards.

We're concerned that without campaigners speaking up, Expressways will introduce road widening and new link roads at great expense with little or no benefit to local people.

Expressways are likely to be dominated by the needs of long distance motorised traffic, dualling existing single carriage way main roads through protected countryside and heritage sites.

For landscapes and communities alongside, it may be all pain and no gain.

With major A-roads across the country potentially in line for the Expressway treatment, look out for what is planned near you.

What are Expressways?

Expressways are upgraded A-roads designed to be "motorway-standard". This means they are likely to:

  • Be made dual carriageway with a central barrier 
  • Exclude cyclists, slow vehicles and other non-motorway traffic
  • Remove bus stops and divert bus routes
  • Close off existing junctions with minor local roads 
  • Introduce  "grade-separated" junctions for connections with A and B roads
  • Introduce more service stations, overhead gantries, large signs and concrete barriers

We are asking Highways England to change their design approach to Expressways, to make our 'green retrofit' ideas a reality.


  • Build extra road space in protected landscapes
  • Exclude communities from their local main road without a better alternative
  • Undermine local bus services
  • Industrialise the landscape and add to light pollution


  • Reconnect communities cut off by main roads 
  • Provide new green crossings for walkers, cyclists and wildlife
  • Provide safe, high quality cycle routes
  • Tackle air pollution, for example by planting new native woodland

We want to see a "corridor planning" approach where roads are just one part of an integrated transport solution, including better public transport, rail freight, and active travel.

Where are Expressways planned?

All A roads managed by Highways England could potentially get the Expressway treatment. 

Currently planned: 

A303, A358 and A30 corridor 

This route runs from Cornwall to Hampshire and includes 

  • A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down dualling – including the controversial Stonehenge tunnel and a bypass at Winterbourne Stoke to link Amesbury to Berwick Down
  • A303 Sparkford to Ilchester dualling – dualling the 3 mile single carriageway section between Sparkford and Ilchester 
  • A358 Taunton to Southfields dualling - creating a dual carriageway link between the M5 at Taunton and the A303
  • New St Austell link road
  • A30 from Honiton to Devonshire Inn

Oxford-Cambridge Expressway 

A new road linking Oxford and Cambridge is being planned as an Expressway. As a first step, Highways England is looking at options to upgrade the A428 between the A1 and A1198 near St Neots.

A417 from M5 Gloucester to M4 Swindon

This route includes controversial plans to dual the single carriageway sections of the A417 near Birdlip, Gloucestershire in the heart of the Cotswolds AONB.

A1 Northumberland

Create 34 miles of continuous ‘expressway' dual carriage north of Newcastle including dualling the A1 from Morpeth to Ellingham. 

A556 Cheshire

Work has begun to dual the A556 from junction 7 of the M56 near Bowdon to junction 19 of the M6 near Knutsford.

A14 Cambridgeshire 

Dualling the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon, including a new Huntingdon bypass.

We'll update this page with more Expressway plans as they emerge