Britain’s roads to get £1.3 billion investment to tackle congestion

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Conservative Chancellor Phillip Hammond has announced government plans to invest £1.3 billion on roads ahead of his Autumn Statement.


The Chancellor said that the country’s roads will benefit from a £1.3 billion spending package to tackle traffic. 


Mr Hammond said Wednesday’s mini-budget will help “just about managing” families “who work hard and by and large do not feel that they are sharing in the prosperity that economic growth is brining to the country.”


Labour has urged him to reverse George Osbourne’s cuts to universal credit (UC), which critics say will leave precisely those working families up to £1,300 wore off by 2020.


Chancellor Hammond stated: “By investing in our national infrastructure and skills we can do even better than before; we can improve our historically low levels of productivity and up our game even more.


“For too long, taxpayer-funded investment hasn’t been sufficiently targeted on generating economic returns for the country. On my watch, it will be.


“Especially when finances are so tight, taxpayers are right to expect that every penny will be carefully targeted to get the maximum benefit for the economy. And strengthening our economy is the only sustainable way to protect our world-class public services.”


Sion Simon, who is bidding to become the West Midland’s first elected mayor next year, fears most of the money will go to the South East and London region.


He said: “For too long, the West Midlands’ interests have been put second to London’s. Their interests are not ours. Next May’s election is an opportunity to take back control of our own affairs. That means doing something bout the terrible gridlock that causes misery in our daily lives and costs the region billion.”


Mr Hammond is understood to favour investment that brings a “double economic benefit” – both from the initial spending and whatever is created from the cash.


Asked if he would reverse the UC cuts, the Chancellor told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show forecasts were “pointing to a slowing of economic growth next year and a sharp challenge for the public finances.”


Mr Hammond said: "We have to maintain our credibility - we have eye-wateringly large debt, we still have a significant deficit in this country and we have to prepare the economy for the period that lies ahead.


Sources close to the Chancellor stated spending on improving the skills of the workforce or creating business “hubs” that will accelerate growth will be favoured.

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