Local authorities to benefit from ‘landmark’ investment strategy

12.00 | 5 July 2017 |

Local roads are set to benefit from a new multi-billion pound improvement fund, unveiled by the DfT today (5 July).

The transport investment strategy sets out a new long-term approach for Government infrastructure spending – including funding for local authorities to improve, or replace, A roads under their management.

The strategy aims to improve productivity and connectivity of towns and cities as well as tackling bottlenecks and traffic jams. It also seeks to take away the ‘misery’ of lorries and through-traffic ‘thundering’ through rural villages on main roads.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling says the new approach is designed to ‘make transport work for the people who use it’.

The transport investment strategy also plans for a new ‘rebalancing’ measure, which will judge how investment programmes contribute to a more balanced economy, and prioritises investment that increases productivity or growth, improves reliability and tackles congestion.

Further plans include the creation of the ‘Major Road Network’ with access to a multi-billion pound road fund, funded by Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), for improvements such as bypasses.

Chris Grayling said: “Getting transport spending right is crucial for the country’s future.

“The transport investment strategy sets out a blueprint for how we can harness the power of transport investment to drive balanced economic growth, unlock new housing projects, and support the government’s modern industrial strategy.

“At the heart of our approach is a plan to make transport work for the people who use it and for the wider economy.”

Stakeholder reaction

The RAC says the announcement is ‘good news’ for motorists across the UK – adding that many are currently in the dark about where responsibility lies for the building and maintenance of local A-roads

Nicholas Lyes, RAC roads policy spokesman, said: “While motorways and major A-roads are benefitting from dedicated funding and have a future funding plan in place through vehicle excise duty receipts, local authorities have struggled to cope with fixing and upgrading those A-roads which come under their control.

"We hope today’s announcement of a Major Road Network will lead to significant investment with a programme of new local road projects tackling some of the country’s worst congestion hot-spots and pinch-points which will benefit business and private motorists alike and act as a stimulus to economic growth."



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