The Government has laid out its plans to deliver “roads for the 21st Century” in a new paper published on 16 July.
The press release that accompanies the report, ‘Action for Roads’, says that “England’s major roads have got a guarantee of a large increase in funding, locked into a long term settlement, backed by law”.
Under the plans the Highways Agency will be turned into a publicly owned company, and there will be an additional £500m funding to “make Britain a world leader in electric vehicle technology”.
Fully funded in the June 2013 spending review, the Government says that £28bn of investment will lead to the biggest ever upgrade of the existing network. The focus will be on cutting congestion and minimising the environmental impact of roads.
Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, said: “Our major roads are vital to the prosperity of our nation, connecting people to jobs and businesses to markets. They carry a third of all traffic and two thirds of all freight traffic but in recent decades we have failed to invest properly in them.
“That underinvestment has seen us fall behind many of our economic competitors. Since 1990, France has built more motorway miles than exist on our entire network, while Canada, Japan and Australia all spend four times more on their roads than we do.
“Today’s changes will bring an end to the short-term thinking that has blighted investment in England’s roads so that we can deliver the infrastructure our economy needs. Backed by the Government’s £28 billion commitment, they will give us a road network fit for the 21st century and beyond.”
Click here to read the paper: Action for Roads.