Saturday, 17 January 2015

PM Pledges £15bn For 'Roads Revolution' . . .

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PM Pledges £15bn For 'Roads Revolution'

Cited at:
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/cameron-announce-15bn-roads-revolution-020123469.html#s3AsKRK


The Prime Minister has announced a cash boost of £15bn to tackle some of Britain's biggest problem hotspots between now and 2020.

Hundreds of extra lane miles will be created on motorways and trunk roads as part of a "roads revolution" that will speed up journey times, David Cameron said.

The plans for the "biggest, boldest and most far-reaching" upgrade to roads in a generation will be announced in next month's autumn statement.

Mr Cameron told the Confederation of British Industry's annual conference in London: "Our long-term economic plan is turning Britain round. And nowhere is this better demonstrated than in what we are doing on infrastructure.

"We inherited a huge budget deficit and frankly, as we went about finding savings, it would have been easy for us to cancel Crossrail, cancel HS2, cancel projects that were politically controversial.

"But we didn't. We know to secure Britain's future, we need world-class infrastructure. Families need it to get around; businesses need it to create jobs; we need it to compete with the world and deliver economic security."

He added: "This will be nothing less than a roads revolution - one which will lead to quicker journey times, more jobs, and businesses boosted right across the country."

Plans to build a tunnel under Stonehenge have reportedly been looked at by the Government to help ease congestion on the A303 and the route to the south west is among those that is set to benefit from the cash.

Work on stretches of the A1 round Newcastle, roads across the Pennines, the A47 in the east of England and the A27 on the south coast are also in line for funding.

AA president Edmund King welcomed the move, saying: "Roads carry 90% of goods and people and are our biggest transport asset and so it makes perfect sense to upgrade them to help the UK economy by improving journey times for people and business.

"Perhaps at long last road users are going to see more of their hard paid motoring taxes being reinvested in the road network".

But Chris Todd, roads campaigner at the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "The road building schemes the Government is so keen to talk up will trash protected areas and do nothing for the economy.

"These schemes will make people more dependent than ever on their cars, place greater costs on the NHS, while failing to tackle problems like the massive backlog of pot holes blighting local roads."

On rail, Mr Cameron promised to complete the Crossrail project, continue work on HS2 and making "the northern powerhouse".

He added: "We do need more consensus about infrastructure and I think it's good that the Labour party has finally got behind HS2 and are going to back it."

In his pitch to the country, Mr Cameron also said that "proper" immigration controls must be matched by welfare and education reforms to enable British workers to fill the jobs currently done by foreigners.

He said: "We need to have proper immigration control. We need to do more, both outside the European Union and, frankly, inside the European Union."

Britain should "continue to sell Britain to the rest of the world", he said, adding: "Britain will only succeed in Europe with a strong economy - from economic strength comes a lot of your international power."



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