Government commits to major road upgrades despite cuts
By: William Hobson
28 October 2010
Despite the recently announced cuts to transport funding the coalition government has confirmed its commitment to 16 major transport improvements it says are vital to securing the UK's prosperity, reports Transport Engineer.
Whilst the recent comprehensive spending review (CSR) revealed that the government plans to cut transport funds by 15% over the next four years, several major works will still go ahead, says Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond. These schemes should help secure the future of efficient logistics work in the UK with upgrades to the M1, M60, M6 and the M25.
"Transport is vital to securing the UK's long term prosperity," said the Transport Secretary. "That is why these schemes are so important and why I will continue to argue for investment that delivers long-term benefits for both the travelling public and the economy as a whole."
As reported by the Financial Times, the secretary describes these improvements as "unglamorous but important". According to the FT Mr Hammond has been "one of the relative victors" of the spending review with the cuts to his overall budget being lower in real terms than the average experienced across Whitehall following the CSR.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has warmly welcomed Mr Hammond's announcements, as it had previously identified six of the nine motorway and trunk road upgrades as essential to driving work in the UK and the wider economy.
James Hookham, managing director of policy and communications at the FTA says that his organisation "has been pushing the point that these transport schemes are not an optional extra, but an essential ingredient for future growth."
"Mr Hammond's acknowledgement of transport as a key driver for such growth is very welcome as are his announcements to save priority trade routes," he told Transport Engineer.
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