Billions of pounds for new road schemes

The Government has announced an investment of £15 billion in road schemes across the country.

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Nick Clegg: Roads plan is a big moment for the UK

Nick Clegg says the Government's £15 billionn funding for road improvements is a "big moment" for the UK that will help "rebalance" the economy.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the Deputy Prime Minister said:

The funding is there and I think it will really represent a big moment, that we're not just balancing the books, which of course is essential, but we're also rebalancing the economy as a whole so that all parts of the country can be connected with each other.

So we're not just rescuing the economy, which of course has been the central mission of this parliament, but also renewing it in the next parliament and beyond.

– Nick Clegg

National Park reaction to A27 scheme in Sussex

The Department for Transport have today announced plans for investment in the Strategic Road Network.

This includes plans for schemes along the A27: east of Lewes, at Worthing and at Arundel.

All pass within or would be close to the National Park boundary.

Andrew Lee, Director of Strategy and Partnerships for the South Downs National Park, said:

“There are strong protagonists for and against these proposals and it is for the Government to take a view on whether, taking into account all social, environmental and economic factors, any or all of the schemes should go ahead.

"In doing this the potential impacts upon the special qualities of the South Downs National Park are a crucial issue and are our primary concern.

“The SDNPA will therefore be looking for evidence in any route options that may be brought forward in future that there are no other more sustainable transport measures which would have a lesser negative impact; robust data on the nature and scale of the impacts on the National Park that would arise; and detail on how they would be mitigated or compensated for, bearing in mind that this is a nationally designated landscape.”

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Green Party: Road plan 'short-sighted and retrograde'

The Green party has criticised the Government's plans for £15bn in Britian's road network.

Local transport spokeswoman Caroline Russell said building more roads was "short-sighted" and would lead to more traffic.

The Government plans are both short-sighted and retrograde. If you build roads you get more traffic. The Government should be investing in our public transport infrastructure and building convenient networks of cycling and walking routes rather than creating more traffic jams.

– Caroline Russell
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Labour: Government plans 'just another re-announcement'

Michael Dugher MP, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, said:

This is just yet another re-announcement on promised road improvements.

The Government has 'announced' plans for road investment at least three times since 2013. And no additional money has been announced.

We know David Cameron’s record on infrastructure is one of all talk and no delivery. Infrastructure output has fallen significantly since May 2010 and less than a third of projects in the Government’s pipeline are actually classed as ‘in construction’.

If Ministers were as good at upgrading roads as they are at making announcements about upgrading roads, life would be considerably easier for Britain's hard-pressed motorists who have been consistently let down by this Government.

– Michael Dugher


MP's delight at A27 improvements in Sussex

Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven and Chair of the A27 Reference Group which lobbied the Government for funding said: “Today’s announcement is great news and will make a real difference for businesses and residents here in East Sussex.

"I lobbied the Government repeatedly on this issue and I am delighted that this work will result in a huge boost to the local economy here in our area.

"I am also hopeful these improvements will ease the burden on other roads in my constituency like the A259.”

Road improvement schemes welcomed

The Road Haulage Association has welcomed the Government’s announcement to invest £15 billion to increase the capacity and condition of England’s roads.

However, it maintains that without the comparatively minimal sum of £150m to train desperately needed truck drivers it will not be the UK’s hauliers that benefit from the improvements but those based in continental Europe and conducting business in the UK.

Commenting, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “For those operating in the road transport and logistics sector, time is money.

"Ours is an industry that is time critical and today’s announcement will come as good news to UK hauliers.

"The plans to tackle congestion and fix some of the most notorious and longstanding problem areas on the network are particularly welcome."

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Motoring groups welcome Government road plans

Motoring groups have welcomed the Government's road plans which they hope will end "the stop-start mess experienced over the last few decades".

AA president Edmund King said:

All road users are entitled to safe and uncongested national arteries.

We can no longer ignore the inadequate resources going into the mainstay of the UK transport system - our roads - which carry 86% of passenger journeys and more than 90% of freight.

– Edmund King, AA

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said:

This is not about concreting over the countryside with new roads but upgrading many existing routes which have been the source of misery to motorists for years if not decades. That the Government is investing money along whole lengths of roads and not just a mile or two here and there is to be welcomed.

– Prof Stephen Glaister, RAC
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