Capital costs of Highways England improvement schemes

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jackal
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Capital costs of Highways England improvement schemes

Post by jackal » Wed Dec 08, 2021 17:03

There's no great consistency in how Highways England reports the costs of its improvement schemes. A scheme's cost can be several times higher or lower depending on which items are included. This makes it difficult to compare the costs of different schemes.

I've found a neat workaround for schemes with DCO applications that have been accepted for examination. A DCO application includes a 'Funding Statement', which gives generally comparable capital costs. Most of the funding statements mention that 'This estimate includes all costs to deliver the Scheme from Options stages through to the opening for traffic. It includes an allowance for compensation payments relating to the compulsory acquisition of land interests in, and rights over, land and the temporary possession and use of land. It also takes into account potential claims under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973, Section 10 of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 and Section 152(3) of the 2008 Act'. Here is an example funding statement: https://infrastructure.planninginspecto ... tement.pdf

A limitation is, of course, that a DCO application needs to have been made and accepted for examination, so for instance most smart motorway schemes are not included as they don’t usually require a DCO (the M4 scheme is an exception). Additionally, the Planning Inspectorate archives documents a few years after the DCO is granted, so funding statements for older schemes are not available. Even so, this is a useful way of finding comparable costs for many recent and ongoing schemes.

Without further ado, here are the capital costs:

A1 Birtley to Coalhouse £289m
A1 in Northumberland: Morpeth to Ellingham £261.6m
A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement £1.487bn
A19 / A184 Testos Junction Improvement £79.8m
A19 Downhill Lane Junction Improvement £54m
A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross £271m
A38 Derby Junctions £229m
A47/A11 Thickthorn Junction £91.2m
A47 Blofield to North Burlingham Dualling £89.5m
A47 North Tuddenham to Easton Dualling £195.27m
A47 Wansford to Sutton Dualling £70.9m
A57 Link Roads £180.6m
A63 Castle Street £392.5m
A303 Sparkford to Ilchester Dualling £171m
A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down £1.7bn
A417 Missing Link £439.6m
A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements £812.5m
A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool Improvement £154.5m
M4 junctions 3 to 12 smart motorway £738m
M20 Junction 10a £104.4m
M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange £272.6m
M25 junction 28 improvement £124m
M42 Junction 6 Improvement £282.3m
M54 to M6 Link Road £198.26m

https://infrastructure.planninginspecto ... /projects/

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jackal
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Re: Capital costs of Highways England improvement schemes

Post by jackal » Thu Dec 09, 2021 16:34

As a quick follow up, I looked at £/mile for the five schemes that could be seen as 'standard' dualling schemes with grade separation, i.e. not including at-grade schemes or schemes with upgrades of major junctions like Black Cat or Girton.

A1 in Northumberland: Morpeth to Ellingham £261.6m/13 miles=£20.1m per mile
A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross £271m/8.7 miles=£31.1m per mile
A47 Blofield to North Burlingham Dualling £89.5m/1.5 miles=£59.67m per mile
A47 North Tuddenham to Easton Dualling £195.27m/5 miles=£39.1m per mile
A303 Sparkford to Ilchester Dualling £171m/3 miles=£57m per mile.

So building a basic grade-separated dual carriageway in England seems to cost £20m-£60m per mile - or in broad terms, about £40m per mile.

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ChrisH
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Re: Capital costs of Highways England improvement schemes

Post by ChrisH » Fri Dec 10, 2021 09:21

jackal wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 16:34
As a quick follow up, I looked at £/mile for the five schemes that could be seen as 'standard' dualling schemes with grade separation, i.e. not including at-grade schemes or schemes with upgrades of major junctions like Black Cat or Girton.

A1 in Northumberland: Morpeth to Ellingham £261.6m/13 miles=£20.1m per mile
A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross £271m/8.7 miles=£31.1m per mile
A47 Blofield to North Burlingham Dualling £89.5m/1.5 miles=£59.67m per mile
A47 North Tuddenham to Easton Dualling £195.27m/5 miles=£39.1m per mile
A303 Sparkford to Ilchester Dualling £171m/3 miles=£57m per mile.

So building a basic grade-separated dual carriageway in England seems to cost £20m-£60m per mile - or in broad terms, about £40m per mile.
There look to be some significant economies of scale there for the schemes of longer length. Is there a comparable set of figures yet for the A66? That is the longest dualling scheme out there at the moment I believe.

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jackal
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Re: Capital costs of Highways England improvement schemes

Post by jackal » Fri Dec 10, 2021 13:40

ChrisH wrote:
Fri Dec 10, 2021 09:21
jackal wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 16:34
As a quick follow up, I looked at £/mile for the five schemes that could be seen as 'standard' dualling schemes with grade separation, i.e. not including at-grade schemes or schemes with upgrades of major junctions like Black Cat or Girton.

A1 in Northumberland: Morpeth to Ellingham £261.6m/13 miles=£20.1m per mile
A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross £271m/8.7 miles=£31.1m per mile
A47 Blofield to North Burlingham Dualling £89.5m/1.5 miles=£59.67m per mile
A47 North Tuddenham to Easton Dualling £195.27m/5 miles=£39.1m per mile
A303 Sparkford to Ilchester Dualling £171m/3 miles=£57m per mile.

So building a basic grade-separated dual carriageway in England seems to cost £20m-£60m per mile - or in broad terms, about £40m per mile.
There look to be some significant economies of scale there for the schemes of longer length. Is there a comparable set of figures yet for the A66? That is the longest dualling scheme out there at the moment I believe.
The A66 hasn't been submitted yet, so it's not directly comparable. But the estimate is £773m for 18 miles, or £42.9m per mile. So in the middle of the range.

I agree economies of scale are a factor. Another is number and standard of GSJs. For instance, the A1 scheme has only 4 GSJs, all compact, which is 0.3 GSJs per mile, while the A303 Sparkford scheme has one compact GSJ and one full GSJ, which is 0.67 GSJs per mile and at a higher average design standard.

A1 general arrangement: https://infrastructure.planninginspecto ... ev%206.pdf
A303 general arrangement: https://infrastructure.planninginspecto ... 0Plans.pdf

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Re: Capital costs of Highways England improvement schemes

Post by WHBM » Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:51

The quoted "Capital Cost" of a project can vary on so many parameters that it's difficult to make comparisons. Include or not :

- Whether land purchase costs are included, as they are sometimes budgeted separately, or the land is already owned, and can be a good proportion of the total.
- Ground conditions.
- Whether off-site drainage work is required.
- Extent of statutory undertakers (gas/water/telephone etc) existing infrastructure encountered (as the Edinburgh Tram project found out only too well).
- Number of bridge structures needed.
- Cut/fill proportions.
- Distance of project from material supply (eg from a concrete batching plant). Try doing a project in the Scottish Highlands.
- Current "market" for civils (I've known main contractors in London have to bring in subcontractors from Northern Ireland).
- Competence of designer (such that certain contractors will not work with certain "professional" consultants any more).
- and a whole lot more ...

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