Further details of the UK Government’s £15 billion plan to triple levels of spending by the end of the decade to increase the capacity and condition of England’s roads, was announced to Parliament yesterday by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.
These announcements came alongside publication, for the first time, by The Department for Transport of a ‘Road investment strategy’, addressing the stated £2 billion yearly costs due to congestion – that if no action is taken is projected to rise to £10 billion by 2040.
These announcements mean a total 127 major road schemes are to ‘come forward in this road period’, resulting in over 1,300 additional lane miles on motorways and trunk roads, all intended to save 46 million hours of time lost in traffic every year by 2030.
There will be, however, some smaller funds set aside to address issues not just to do with dealing with congestion but to make a “better network”, such a ‘New vehicle technology investment fund’, as well as some for landscaping, noise abatement, bio-diversity.
The strategy also envisions provision of ‘personalised and predictive travel information leading to improved journeys at more reliable speeds’, plus the successor to the Highways Agency will be expected to consider customers’ needs across the transport modes.