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Road construction set for £1.3 billion Autumn Statement boost

Road construction set for £1.3 billion Autumn Statement boost

Construction firms will have an increased workload over the next couple of years thanks to an investment of an additional £1.3 billion in new roads, to be announced in the Autumn Statement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is set to announce the cash in the House of Commons this Wednesday (November 23rd), with the aim being to reduce road congestion so as to improve economic productivity.

The government estimates road congestion costs the economy £13 billion a year in lost work, with the funds being focused on small, local projects. The idea behind this approach is to prioritise developments that can be delivered swiftly, and to leverage local investment to help deliver more economic growth.

Mr Hammond will deliver a £5 billion economic stimulus, with the roads funding being added to other measures that include money to boost new housing and construct new school buildings.

The funding will consist mainly of £1.1 billion for congestion and £220 million for dealing with 'pinch points' on motorways and A roads across England.

Among specific projects will be the commitment of £27 million to develop a new fast road route connecting Oxford and Cambridge via Milton Keynes. This will enable planning work to start promptly on the route.

Earlier this year, the government outlined the different options for this link, with the Department of Transport's interim report published in August describing the link between Oxford and Cambridge as being of a "variable standard" and stating that a new, fast route could slash journey times between the two historic university cities by over an hour.

The report also noted that the population and economy of this corridor had grown, but needed a better road to help this along. The same point was emphasised last week by the national Infrastructure Commission, which also said more "suitable housing" was needed.

It concluded: "Without a joined-up plan for housing, jobs and infrastructure across the corridor, it will be left behind its international competitors."

Image: iStock/i-Stockr


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