The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

All for the Revolution

14 November 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970

Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement that there will be major road improvements have been welcomed by road groups. Cameron stated in a speech to the Confederation of British Industry that plans for the biggest road building programme for almost half a century, will be unveiled in next month's Autumn Statement on 3 December, and contain a £15 billion overhaul of 100 of Britain's busiest roads and motorways by the end of the decade as the economy continues to recover.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said that plans to deliver roads improvements across the country are ‘good news for the freight and logistics industry’, adding that such investment will improve the reliability of the strategic road network and ensure that transport operators can continue to support the UK economy. 

The FTA’s own research has shown that its members have expressed increasing concern about the state of the UK’s road network. In a survey, they reported a deterioration in the reliability of the road network compared with 12 months ago. Almost 30% said there has been a decrease in reliability of the motorway network and over 40% believed there had been a decline in local authority roads performance. The conclusion was that there needed to be ‘urgent investment’ to improve journey reliability on major routes.

The FTA argues that such roads improvements would also assist the economies of those areas which are badly served by strategic transport infrastructure, e.g. the Trans Pennine routes, South West, Eastern and North East England.

“We are pleased to hear of the planned ‘roads revolution’ as such improvements have to be good news for all UK freight operators,” said Malcolm Bingham, Head of Road Network Management Policy, FTA. “Improved road reliability will help to ensure transport operators can provide an efficient service to their customers and will reduce the unnecessary costs associated with traffic jams.”

Other road associations expressed their approval, including the AA. "Roads carry 90% of goods and people and are our biggest transport asset and so it makes perfect sense to upgrade them to help the UK economy by improving journey times for people and business," stated Edmund King, President, AA.

The contribution that road tax made and the poor return back from government did not go unnoticed by the RAC, however. "The Chancellor collects more than £30 billion in road fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) alone but spends just a quarter of this on the road network,” complained Professor Stephen Glaister, RAC Foundation Director. “If a larger share of this income will now be used to upgrade our highways, which are a vital national asset, then that is welcome.”

Not surprisingly, the Labour Party has declared that the announcement by the government was, in fact, another example of smoke and mirrors. "This desperate so-called announcement of promised road improvements includes no additional money and people simply won't fall for it,” warned Michael Dugher, Shadow Transport Secretary. “When it comes to road investment, the truth is Cameron leaves us like a frustrated motorist trying to get through the rush hour - we're stuck going nowhere fast."


Picture: Promises to invest in road improvement schemes have been welcomed by road groups but is there any new money committed?

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 14 November 2014


Related Articles

Severn Bridge - Rhad Ac Am Ddim Doll - Toll Free From December

Tolls on the Severn Crossings will be abolished on Monday 17th December, just in time for the festive getaway, the government announced on Tuesday October 2. The move...

 Read Full Article
Decrying On a Hard Shoulder

The Transport Committee has published a report, warning that the Government should not proceed with 'all lane running' schemes while major safety concerns...

 Read Full Article
RIS May be a Road to Nowhere

In the foreword this week to the Road Investment Strategy (RIS), the Secretary of State, Patrick McLoughlin, stated: ‘Roads should never be at a standstill. This is...

 Read Full Article
Refusing to Fly – Heathrow Third Runway Shot Down Again

Plans to build the first full-length runway in the South-East since the second world war have hit the buffers once again.   It is nearly 18 years since a...

 Read Full Article
New Royal Wharf Pier Arrives In London

London’s longest pier opened for business in October having been positioned in place in September. It was carried on a 65m x 60m boat and pontoon, brought in by the...

 Read Full Article
Kentec Protects World’s Longest Sea-Crossing

Sigma A-XT gas extinguishing panels from Kentec, a life safety control systems manufacturer, are at the heart of a new fire safety solution protecting users of the...

 Read Full Article
Bank Holiday Road Chaos Commences

The misery that is travelling by road on a Bank Holiday weekend is likely to start early as good weather will see people setting asap on their 16.5 million or more...

 Read Full Article
Electric Dreams Nearer To Reality

Donald Trump's favourite mayor, London's Sadiq Khan, has set out plans for a major expansion of London’s electric vehicle charging...

 Read Full Article
Kier Komes Krashing Down

The Kier Group's shares have been plummeting in a style reminiscent of Carillion and Interserve - and on Monday June 17 things got worse as the construction and FM...

 Read Full Article
Fear Of Flooding - Water Damage Is £Billion Threat

Property owners must prepare for the worst is the latest stark warning from the UK Environment Agency, which suggests that £1 billion a year might be needed to be...

 Read Full Article