Chancellor to start new roads taskforce

Chancellor to start new roads taskforce

Motorists will benefit from a new group being set up today on to oversee construction of new roads and other infrastructure projects.

George Osborne officially launched the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) at York's National Railway Museum.

The Commission will be charged with overseeing £100 billion worth of infrastructure projects to get the country moving.

The Chancellor admits that Britain is lagging behind its competitors when it comes to infrastructure initiatives.

He says he is determined to change that, shake the UK from its "inertia" and deliver power stations and homes fit for the future.

Links between northern cities, energy schemes and London's travel network are the three areas of focus.

The politically neutral NIC will earmark priority projects for public spending every five years at the start of each new Parliament to help to get them delivered more quickly.

The NIC will comprise seven heavyweight commissioners, headed by Lord Adonis, the one-time Transport Secretary.

He will be joined by Lord Heseltine, the former Conservative deputy prime minister, and Sir Paul Ruddock, the Victoria & Albert Museum's chairman.

Last December ministers published proposals for road upgrade and flood defence projects worth £15 billion and £2.3 billion respectively in addition to fresh housing plans.

The Coalition first unveiled £100 billion infrastructure plans two years ago, admitting that it had let slip its "proud", centuries-old record of being infrastructure pioneers.

Mr Osborne added that infrastructure is about the lives of people, rather than an "obscure concept".

Copyright Press Association 2015