£15bn Road Investment Strategy gets green light

Monday, December 1, 2014 - 11:00
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Scenes like this have become common on the road

Biggest upgrade to roads in a generation

Following on from the Prime Minister announcing a £15bn investment in the UK road infrastructure at the CBI conference last month, the motion was officially announced to Parliament today (Monday, December 1) by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

The scheme, published today in the ‘Road investment strategy’, includes £1.5 billion of investment to add an extra lane onto key motorways to turn them into smart motorways, boosting connectivity between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Yorkshire.

Over 1,300 new lane miles will be added by schemes being delivered over the next parliament on motorways and trunk roads, tackling congestion and fixing some of the most notorious and longstanding problem areas on the network.

Mr McLoughlin said: “Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain’s economic potential. Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity. For too long they have suffered from under-investment. Better roads allow us to travel freely, creating jobs and opportunities, benefiting hardworking families across the country.”

The new investment broken down by region includes:

  • North East and Yorkshire – 18 schemes worth around £2.3 billion and estimated to create 1,500 construction jobs.
  • North West – 9 schemes worth £800 million and estimated to create 600 jobs.
  • Midlands – 17 schemes worth £1.4 billion and estimated to create 900 jobs.
  • East of England – 15 schemes worth £1.5 billion and estimated to create 1,000 jobs.
  • London and South East – 18 schemes worth £1.4 billion and estimated to create 900 jobs
  • South West – 7 schemes worth £2 billion and estimated to create 1,300 jobs.

Commenting on the major investment, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “Investment on this scale is only possible because we have taken the difficult decisions needed to control our public finances and stuck to our recovery plan which is now delivering strong growth and record numbers of jobs. These projects, like the scheme on the A303, will help unleash the economic potential of both the regions they serve and of the overall economy.”

Comment from the automotive industry has been particularly glowing, with RAC chief engineer David Bizley saying: “Local roads account for 97% of the road network and most journeys start and end on them and their maintenance is the number one transport spending priority for a majority of motorists, who contribute over £40 billion to the Treasury from motoring taxes every year.”

Malcolm Bingham, FTA Head of Road Network Management Policy, said: “FTA believes that this investment announcement has significant benefits for the freight industry in setting improvements to journey reliability. The freight and logistics industry relies upon reliable road infrastructure to ensure that products are move efficiently and at reasonable cost.”

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