The UK’s highways will see the biggest investment for decades, according to an announcement by Chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander.
The news comes as part of Chancellor George Osborne’s Government Spending Review statement, which commits £100 billion to the infrastructure investment programme, with £10 billion assigned to highway maintenance and road repairs between 2015-16 and 2020-21.
Mr Alexander committed to addressing the backlog of road maintenance, as well as delivering all of the major projects in the Highways Agency’s pipeline, with improvements to areas of the A19, A63, M6, M5, A38, A21, and the M4, with a focus on tackling congestion. National road maintenance will benefit from over £4 billion, with £6bn to be allocated to local authority spend.
Peter Shone, managing director at highway maintenance company JPCS, said:
“It’s fantastic to see such commitment to improving the UK’s infrastructure, and to see some of that money being invested into our roads. The £10mn translates into the equivalent of resurfacing 21,000 miles of road and filling 19 million potholes each year, which would make a tremendous difference to road users up and down the country.
“I am really pleased to see the Government acknowledging the maintenance backlog that has been built up following under-investment and harsh weather conditions and I do hope that local authorities will use the budget wisely and adopt long-term solutions, such as waterproofing.”
As part of the programme, the Highways Agency has been converted to a publicly owned corporation, with long term funding certainty and flexibility to deliver the best possible road network.