Transport plans driven to £1bn

The Transport Secretary has announced that £1 billion will be spent next year to boost Britain's transport system.

Geoff Hoon said £700 million worth of projects have been brought forward and an additional £300 million of projects will also take place.

The announcement came as part of the pre-Budget report which focused on bringing Britain out of recession.

Links to key UK air and sea ports are among schemes to be brought forward.

This will include better access to the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich, and improvements to roads leading to the port of Immingham.

Improvements to the North London rail line and a £165 million South East Manchester relief road to Manchester airport will also be brought forward.

A total of £300 million will be spent on 200 train carriages to relieve congestion on the Great Western, Northern and Transpennine rail franchises.

A further £300 million will be used to make the best use of existing motorway capacity.

Mr Hoon said: "I remain committed to tackling the problems of congestion and crowding.

"Congestion is a tax on the productivity of our businesses, and if left unchecked could become a brake on growth. That is why I am accelerating plans."

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