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Government announce £15 billion road building fund

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£15 billion of funding for new road schemes

The UK Government have today announced a £15 billion “Road investment strategy” to help improve the state of England’s infrastructure. The plan will triple the amount of spending by the end of the decade in an effort to make the roads more suitable for a growing population.

The investment will be spread across 100 road schemes, 84 of which are brand new. Over 1,300 miles of new road will be added. Plans include a tunnel underneath Stonehenge, the addition of “Smart Motorway” technology along the M62 motorway between Leeds and Manchester, and fixing one third of the M25 junctions around London and the South East.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said “This government has a long term plan to secure the country’s future and this £15 billion roads programme is demonstration of that. Better roads allow us to travel freely, creating jobs and opportunities, benefiting hardworking families across the country. Spending during the next parliament on England’s roads network will be boosted further by maintenance funding worth more than £10 billion across the local and national road network.”

Controversy

The announcement from the government has been greeted with disdain by opposition party members. The shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher told the BBC “”We know David Cameron’s record on infrastructure is one of all talk and no delivery. Infrastructure output has fallen significantly since May 2010 and less than a third of projects in the Government’s pipeline are actually classed as ‘in construction’. If ministers were as good at upgrading roads as they are at making announcements about upgrading roads, life would be considerably easier for Britain’s hard-pressed motorists who have been consistently let down by this government.”

Another possible controversy raised by the announcement came from The Telegraph newspaper, which looked at where the roads will be built. The majority of new road schemes are in coalition areas, possibly as an attempt to boost local politicians before next May’s general election.

Where will the investment go?

The government have provided a region by region outline of where the money will be spent:

  • 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

Read more about the Road Investment Strategy at the Gov.UK website.

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