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Old 12-01-2014, 05:41 AM   #1
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15 billion upgrade planned for road network

New project will see England triple levels of spending on roads by 2020

A PLAN to increase the capacity and improve the condition of England’s roads was announced by Parliament today.

The £15 billion project, which will see England triple levels of spending on roads by 2020, was announced by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

According to a release, the government is investing in more than 100 new road schemes over this parliament and next, which will see over 1,300 new lane miles added to motorways and trunk roads.

This includes £1.5 billion of investment to add an extra lane onto key motorways to boost connectivity between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Yorkshire.

Mcloughlin said: ‘Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programmes for decades.

‘It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain’s economic potential.’

Spending on England’s roads network will be boosted by a further £10 billion maintenance fund for the local and national road network. Projects include turning a number of key single carriageways into dual carriageways, improving junctions on the M25 to ease congestion, and improving links and connectivity between a number of cities.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: ‘Our plans will transform some of the country’s most important strategic routes, with ambitious projects to dual the A303, A1, A27 and the A47 as well as spending on important local infrastructure boosting productivity and helping local economies.’

The government is also transforming the Highways Agency into a government-owned company; according to the release, this will mean funding can be allocated on a longer-term basis, saving the taxpayer at least £2.6 billion over the next 10 years.

The plan also contains measures to improve the lives of those affected by road upgrades, including: £100 million to improve cycling provision at 200 locations, £300 million to mitigate carbon emission and reduce the number of people affected by serious noise by 250,000, and £100 million to unlock future growth and housing developments.

Danny Alexander said: ‘World class infrastructure is vital if we are to build a stronger economy, but it matters in other ways to. It invigorates communities and gives people more opportunities to get on in life. This is why I have ensured that this government has prioritised funding roads, and railways, at a high level for future generations.

‘For decades our roads have suffered from under investment, so I’m particularly delighted to be able to announce this expansive range of new road schemes today.’

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