New funding pot includes £333m for repair and maintenance
The government will invest a further £1bn in road projects, George Osborne announced today.
In the Autumn Statement, the government said it would fund four major new schemes as part of £1bn of spending before 2015.
There will be a £378m upgrade to sections of the A1 bringing it up to motorway standard; a link road between the A5 and the M1 and dualing of the A30 in Cornwall totalling £157m and upgrades to the M25 costing £160m in total.
An additional £333m on repair and maintenance of the UK’s road network between now and 2015 will be funded from the same pot of money.
The government said it will set aside £270m for priority road projects across the country to remove bottlenecks. The Highway Agency will also receive £42m to develop a pipeline of work beyond 2015 and £42m will be used to build cycling infrastructure.
The investment forms part of a £5.5bn capital boost unveiled by the chancellor, which is being funded through additional cuts to Whitehall departments over the next two years.
Alasdair Reisner, Director of External Affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said the investment in repair and maintenance “recognises the vital contribution our sector will play in rebuilding growth”.
He added: “We estimate that today’s announcement has the potential to bring more than 3,000 people out of unemployment and into the industry.”
Duncan Symonds, head of infrastructure at engineer WSP, said the £1bn programme was the “kind of capital investment needed to boost both the economy and the industry”.
“The challenge for the sector now will be harnessing creativity and collaboration in equal measure to drive this investment agenda and improving the overall economic benefits to UK plc,” he added.