Chancellor Sajid Javid has outlined a £25bn road network improvement plan to get underway in 2020, in a speech at the annual Conservative Party Conference.
The scheme is planned to get underway in 2020, making use of a ‘national roads fund’ set aside by Javid’s predecessor Phillip Hammond. Further funding, Javid said, will come from taxes and borrowing, augmented by “record low interest rates”.
The first works to be undertaken will include the completion of the dualling of the A66 Trans-Pennine expressway and A46 Newark bypass, and improvement works to Manchester’s Simister Island interchange.
Work will also get underway on the new A248 trunk road between Cambridge and Milton Keynes, and the often-congested A12 in the east of England will be widened.
Alongside works to improve journeys for drivers, Javid has reaffirmed a commitment to improving Britain’s public transport network. Bus services nationwide stand to benefit from a £220 million cash injection, with £50m devoted to creating the country’s first ‘all-electric bus town or city’.
Javid said buses "haven't been given the attention they deserve from politicians, but they are still the backbone of our public transport in most of the country". Prime Minister Boris Johnson was instrumental in replacing London's much-criticised 'bendy' buses with the New Routemaster, underpinning his 2012 London Mayor election campaign with a promise to improve the capital's transport infrastructure.
Also on the cards are a series of ‘superbus networks’, which will lead to councils building more bus lanes to encourage service providers to offer more routes. A trial will be held in Cornwall next year.
Javid has also voiced an ambition for all city buses in the country to offer contactless payment, as the technology becomes more universally adopted.