Hertfordshire County Council has praised a £6.2 million investment for the A1(M) in Hertfordshire announced by the Highways Agency as great for local businesses.

The works, set out by the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin yesterday, will see the current A1(M) at junction 6 benefit from an additional traffic lane by converting the hard shoulder.

The improvements will help aid traffic flow through the area and develop access to some of the counties major economic centres.

Gunnels Wood Road in Stevenage is home to some of the world’s largest companies including Glaxo Smith Kline, EADS Astrium, MBDA and Fujitsu many of which base their UK operations in the town. Nearly 19,000 are employed by companies in the Gunnels Wood Road area.

The Hatfield Business Park, home to T-Mobile and distribution centres for DHL and Ocado, is also set to benefit as the improvements make connecting with the north of the country easier.   

Morris Bright, Deputy Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Well-being, said: “This announcement is excellent news for businesses in Hertfordshire and the county as a whole.

“The A1(M) is a major artery for commercial companies across the country. By making it easier to travel to and through the area, Hertfordshire becomes a very attractive option for businesses looking for a new home.”

John Gourd, Chair of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said of the scheme: “Road congestion is one of the key concerns of local businesses so this funding is a welcome boost for Hertfordshire’s economy. We will be working with partners to develop an infrastructure plan for the county to unlock further investment in critical schemes such as this.”

The works will start and finish in 2014 and support the creation of over 9,000 jobs and nearly 4,000 homes in the area by 2020.