UPDATE: 4th October
I was pleased to see the Prime Minister announce funding for the A5 between Hinckley and Tamworth in his speech earlier today.
I am seeking additional details and will update you when I know more.
You can find out more about the £36bn investment into road infrastructure across the North and the Midlands here: PM redirects HS2 funding to revolutionise transport across the North and Midlands - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
UPDATE: 20th July
Last week I raised the A5 - yet again - with the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper.
Already improved stretches of the A5, like Cannock Chase to Tamworth and the Eastern Section which passes Rugby, have seen economic and strategic benefits since the road has been dualled. Our area is at risk of falling behind without provision made for the A5 in the next investment strategy.
I asked what more can be done to move National Highways forward and ease the strangle-hold on our area.
You can watch my question here: Calling for improvements to the A5 | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 14th July
Figures from Midlands Connect show the Watling Street bridge - recently the 'most bashed bridge in Britain' - was hit by high vehicles 88 times between 2017 and September 2022.
Analysis of four of those incidents and found the resulting traffic delays cost the economy a combined £126,000.
Every time the bridge is struck it causes huge disruption, delays and diversions, costing the taxpayers both time and money.
I have and will continue to raise this issue to get it resolved, and I am pleased a recent planning application may go some way towards solving the problem by lowering the road under the bridge. This is a welcome solution to an issue that has blighted our community for too long.
UPDATE: 28th June 2023
Following my PMQ earlier today I was straight into a meeting with the Roads Minister, Richard Holden MP, to discuss the A5… yet again!
Read more here: Local MP continues call for A5 improvements | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 15th December 2022
Earlier this week I sat down with Roads Minister, Richard Holden MP, to discuss the strategic and economic benefits of improving the local stretch of the A5.
UPDATE: 13th December 2022
I have welcomed polling from Midlands Connect which states over 80% of people recently polled across Hinckley, Nuneaton and Rugby support improvements to the A5 and believe it would be important to local residents.
Already improved stretches of the A5, like Cannock Chase to Tamworth and the Eastern Section which passes Rugby, have seen economic and strategic benefits since the road has been dualled. Our area is at risk of falling behind if we’re overlooked in the next investment strategy.
The road has become a straitjacket for growth and prosperity in our region as people and businesses lose valuable time while they're stuck in avoidable delays and bottlenecks.
You can read more here: 80% support improvements to A5, as Bosworth's MP continues campaign | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 24th November 2022
Today I asked the Transport Minister for his Department's assessment of the economic and strategic importance of the A5 to the East Midlands.
I also raised a recent report by Midlands Connect which further highlighted concerns I have regarding the safety of the road.
You can watch my question and the Minister's answers here: Bosworth's MP continues campaign for A5 improvements | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 18th November 2022
Midlands Connect have shared data with me following their analysis of accidents along the A5 between 2017 and 2021.
An average of 36 accidents occur a year, with 1 in 5 deemed 'serious'.
For the safety of all road users and to alleviate delays caused by these accidents, including those involving the frequently-bashed Watling Street bridge, it’s time improvements were made.
You can read the report here: Midlands Connect | Thirty-six road accidents per year hit A5 logistics hotspot
UPDATE: 25th October 2022
Following the A5 conference I was pleased to secure a meeting with Roads Minister Katherine Fletcher, in which I further reiterated the strategic and economic importance of the A5 to our region and the benefits that these improvements would bring.
I raised these issues so frequently with the preceding Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, that whenever she saw me she’d say ‘you’re here to talk about the A5 again, aren’t you?!’
I intend to gain a similar reputation with the new Roads Minister...
Read more about my meeting here: Dr Luke Evans MP makes the case for infrastructure improvements to Roads Minister | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 21st October 2022
I was pleased to deliver the keynote speech today at the Midlands Connect A5 Conference. It was a fantastic opportunity for stakeholders and local representatives to come together and continue making the case for improvements.
Last year the Watling Street bridge was the most bashed bridge in Britain, this year it has dropped to sixth but is still hit an average of once every two weeks. I’m calling for the road under the bridge to be lowered, stopping so many accidents and, importantly, saving local people valuable time. Another essential improvement is dualling. The stretch of the central corridor leading from Hinckley to Rugby has been dualled in large parts and, as such, runs much smoother.
My main message to all stakeholders at the conference was that we need to keep making the case to Government and National Highways, because to unlock the full potential of our region we need improvements to local infrastructure.
Here's the full story on the conference: Dr Luke Evans MP and local stakeholders call for improvements to the A5 | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 3rd October 2022
There are a series of public consultations occurring throughout September and October regarding upgrades to the Dordon to Atherstone stretch of the A5.
This part of the A5 is outside of my constituency but I know many local people frequently use this section and are keen to see improvements.
The next in-person event is Thursday October 6th and there is an online event next week.
You can complete the consultation and find out more information via this link: A5 Dordon to Atherstone Options Consultation - National Highways - Citizen Space
UPDATE: 23rd March 2022
Today I gave a speech in Westminster Hall on why our area will benefit greatly from much-needed improvements to the A5.
With many constituents who live along the A5 corridor concerned, this was a chance to yet again raise the issue and get a direct response from Government Minister Trudy Harrison.
This speech was part of a wider ongoing campaign with fellow local A5 MPs to lobby the Government for much needed improvements to local infrastructure.
You can watch my full speech here: Local MPs continue to call for improvements along the A5 | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 18th November 2021
Last night the Watling Street bridge was hit once again – exemplifying it’s title of Britain’s most bashed bridge – and today I took the opportunity the raise it in the House.
I asked the Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg for a debate on the importance of the A5 and was pleased to hear him acknowledge the history of the carriageway.
You can watch our interaction here: In Parliament: A5 & The 'Most Bashed Bridge in Britain' | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 25th November 2020
Today I raised the Watling Street bridge with the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and pressed for funding.
You can watch my question and the Chancellor’s response here: Dr Luke presses Chancellor to take action on A5 crash bridge | Dr Luke Evans MP
UPDATE: 11th March 2020
I am delighted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced funding for A5 improvement planning.
The money, which forms part of the Department for Transport’s Road Investment Strategy, is the next step in the process to commence essential improvements between Tamworth and Hinckley in the coming years.
Improved capacity and safety along the A5 is essential for the economic growth of Hinckley and Bosworth and our region.
UPDATE: March 2020
I was pleased to discuss the A5 with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a meeting in Hinckley. The PM has detailed knowledge of the importance of the A5 as a major artery in our country’s roads network.
Baroness Vere, the Roads Minister, understands the benefits improvements could bring to our economy and our quality of life, but of course we are competing with other improvement schemes up and down the country.
Highways engineers have confirmed that funding of around £20 million is required to carry out further technical analysis and preparatory work to be ready for shovels in the ground in the next phase.
I will continue to push for funding.
The importance of the A5 and the need for improvements
My constituency of Bosworth has many valuable but under-utilised transport links. As population and job opportunities have increased in our area, so has the demand placed on the A5. We’ve seen vast improvements be made to large stretches, such as the Hinckley to Rugby section, but there’s still more to be done.
Two of the big issues facing the A5 are resilience and reliability. The road’s efficiency is lower than the UK national average as journeys can take around 36% longer in peak periods. A critical incident, as defined by National Highways, happens every eight weeks and causes a five-hour delay on average. A contributor to this is the Watling Street bridge – previously the most bashed bridge in Britain – where an incident occurred once every two weeks last year.
The A5 corridor affects over 1 million people, supports almost 500,000 jobs – 10% of the jobs in the Midlands – and we know that there can be up to 25,000 cars on its busiest sections, a third of which are classified as HGVs. But, as it stands, the A5 is acting as a straitjacket to our economic growth and prosperity.
To unlock the full potential of our region we need improvements to local infrastructure. Which is why I’ve been calling on the Government to fund much needed upgrades to the A5 corridor.
If we get this road right, we will have housing, businesses, growth, levelling up and, above all, happiness.
Neighbouring MPs, whose constituents also rely on the A5, and I have been working together to lobby the Government, Midlands Engine and Highways England to dual the full Cannock Chase to Rugby stretch of the carriageway.
In fact, one of my very first meetings down in Westminster was with Alberto Costa, the neighbouring MP for South Leicestershire, and former Roads Minister Baroness Vere in January 2020. We discussed safety concerns and ways in which the carriageway could be improved.
We continue to make the case for the A5 and I’ll share updates as and when I have them.