Prime Minister promises ‘roads revolution’
David Cameron sets out £15 billion road network investment plan in speech to CBI’s annual conference
ADDRESSING business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry’s annual conference in London earlier this week, the Prime Minister set out how the Government will unveil the first ever long-term Roads Investment Strategy, and how these proposals will see investment in more than 100 projects on the strategic road network by the end of the decade, resulting in hundreds of extra lane miles on UK motorways and trunk roads.
The Prime Minister stated that the Government will invest more than £15 billion over the next Parliament (between 2015/16 and 2020/21) in the biggest upgrade to the UK’s roads in a generation.
Plans for the biggest road-building programme for more than half a century will be unveiled in next month’s Autumn Statement (3 December) and, according to David Cameron, will be nothing less than a ‘roads revolution’ – one which will lead to quicker journey times, more jobs, and a boost to businesses right across the country.
‘At its heart,’ said Mr Cameron, ‘is the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching road-improvement programme in four decades: over 100 improvements to our major roads; hundreds of extra lane miles on our motorways and trunk roads; and the green light given to major projects that have been stalled for years.
‘Action will be taken to improve some of the most important arteries in our country – such as the A303 and the A1 – which for too long have held parts of our country back. All this will underpinned by more than £15 billion of investment.’
As part of the programme, the Government will fund solutions to tackle some of the most notorious and long-standing problems on the UK road network, including improvements to: the A303 to the South West; the A1 north of Newcastle; the A1 Newcastle-Gateshead western bypass; the trans-Pennine roads in the north of England; the A47 in the east of England; and the A27 on the south coast.
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has welcomed news of the investment plan. Jerry McLaughlin, director of economics and public affairs with the Association, said: ‘We are very supportive of the ‘roads revolution’ highlighted by the Prime Minister, notably the commitment to sustained long-term investment in the road network. The key issues now are to ensure delivery of the programme and for industry, government and regulators to work together to ensure the UK supply chain can meet increasing future demands.’