'Don't neglect road network' - MPs

The large-scale planned investment in high-speed rail lines must not lead to a reduction in spending on England's major roads, a report from MPs said.

The country needs more motorways was the headline finding by the House of Commons Transport Committee. The group said that some regions of England such as the North East were discriminated against in terms of road transport investment, something which it described as "unacceptable".

The 900 miles of trunks road that were single carriageways should be upgraded to dual carriage wherever possible, the committee added.

In its report of the major road network in England, the MPs said they did not support a significant expansion of the network.

But the committee said: "This country has one of the lowest motorway densities in Western Europe. This puts England at an economic and competitive disadvantage. The remedy for this should include some new initiatives to construct and upgrade motorways.

"With vast - and very welcome - funds likely to be invested in high-speed rail (HSR) over the next two decades, the Government must guard against the temptation to neglect the major road network to reduce costs."

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