Over £600m Transport Funding Gets Go-Ahead

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has given a major boost to the UK economy today by announcing the go-ahead for a further 16 road and public transport schemes.

Along with the eight schemes announced by the Chancellor last week, work will now begin on a further 24 schemes as a result of the Department for Transport’s spending review settlement.

The schemes given the green light today, subject to statutory processes, will deliver major upgrades to relieve congestion on major junctions through widening or managed motorways schemes.

The following key local infrastructure projects were also confirmed, subject to a best and final offer from local authorities:

  • A new single carriageway bypass which will ease congestion in Sefton and improve access to the region’s motorway network
  • An integrated package of sustainable transport improvements in Ipswich including improved bus facilities and walking and cycling routes
  • Improvements to M5 J29, east of Exeter, providing access to new housing and employment areas
  • A bypass to the north of Lancaster, connecting the port of Heysham to the M6
  • Improvements on the A57 east of M1 J31, near Todwick
  • A new road in Taunton to provide additional cross-town capacity and access to areas of brownfield land
  • A new bus station and associated transport improvements in Mansfield
In addition, the Transport Secretary announced a pot of over £600m of funding for further local authority projects. Local authorities will be invited to bid for this funding over the next few months. Councils will be challenged to consider the cost, scope and possibility of local funding when bidding.

The Government believes this competitive process will ensure that the greatest possible number of schemes, with the best value for money, will be able to proceed, facilitating economic growth and providing jobs across the country.

Philip Hammond said:
 “Whilst we have had to make some tough choices, I am pleased that spending on transport was treated as a priority for the Government in the Spending Review.

He continued: “This Government sees transport as a key driver of growth nationally and in the regions. So I am delighted to be able to give the green light to 24 new transport projects and a fund worth over £600m for many more schemes to bid for.

“Taken together, this investment will not only bring benefits in terms of reduced congestion, shorter journey times and more efficient public transport, but also provide a vital economic boost. For every pound we spend on Highways Agency schemes, on average we will get back £6 of benefits and in many cases there are even higher returns for local authority schemes.

“Transport is vital to securing the UK’s long term prosperity. That is why these schemes are so important and why I will continue to argue for investment which delivers long term benefits for both the travelling public and the economy as a whole.”

The Government also announced that the Highways Agency will continue work on developing a further 14 schemes in preparation for them to start in future spending review periods, as funding becomes available, and will review the design of a further four with the aim of finding a best value solution.


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