1.9 billion road promise for 2014

1.9 billion road promise for 2014

The government will double the amount spent on Britain's roads in 2014, it has been announced.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said £1.9 billion will be spent next year, more than twice the amount shelled out in 2013. In total 209 schemes have been announced, totalling £4.3 billion and creating over 9,500 construction jobs.

The road plans, which will either start or end in 2014, are part of a £100 billion investment pledge in the country's infrastructure over the next seven years.

It represents the biggest investment for 40 years and ministers hope it will boost the country's economy to the tune of £18.8 billion.

The government wants to create a high performance road network that will be able to deal with the projected 43% increase in traffic by 2040.

Mr Goodwill said: "Roads are the lifeblood that keeps our economy going - they create jobs and help get products to markets. This government is committed to delivering the modern infrastructure we need to compete in the global race, investing across the board to cut congestion and reduce journey times in roads, rail and local transport.

"We are already seeing massive improvements being made to our major roads and motorways. In 2014 the public will see even greater improvements right across the country."

It is expected that more than half the 209 schemes will be completed in 2014, with even more investment promised for 2015. It is thought that by 2020 annual investment in the roads will be some £3 billion.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "The nation's roads are intrinsically linked to the economy. The more that is done to improve the network, the easier it is for companies to do business and for motorists to both get to work and spend money as consumers. The significance of our roads was made even more apparent earlier this year when second quarter traffic statistics showed a 4.9% increase in motorway traffic at the same time as GDP grew.

"The jobs that are being created to carry out these large-scale improvements are a massive benefit to the economy, but it is important to remember that while the strategic road network carries a third of all traffic, it only represents 2% of all roads. Investment in local roads is therefore vital as excellent main 'road' arteries will have far less effect if they feed clogged 'local' veins which are not fit to handle today's traffic volumes. In fairness to the Government, they are looking to address many local pinch points, but we hope this is extensive enough to make a real difference to day-to-day journeys."

Copyright Press Association 2013