Currently reading: Autumn statement: fuel duty frozen, £15bn for new roads
Chancellor confirms fuel duty will remain frozen and outlines plans to dramatically improve the capacity of the nation's roads
Matt Burt
News
2 mins read
3 December 2014

The government has announced a freeze on fuel duty in today's autumn statement alongside a £15 billion investment into improving the capacity and condition of the nation’s roads.

Chancellor George Osbourne said fuel duty will remain frozen for the remainder of this parliament, saving the average motorist £11 every time they fill their tank, the government claims, resulting in a saving of £680 for the typical motorist by 2015-16.

The £15bn road investment scheme, entitled ‘Road Investment Strategy’ centres on more than 100 new road improvements schemes that will take place over this parliament and the next.

A total of more than 1300 new lane miles will be added via the schemes, which will address traffic black-spots such as the A303 at Stonehenge and the remaining single-lane sections of the A1.

The news was first announced to Parliament on Monday by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin and chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander.

McLoughlin said the plan is “the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain’s economic potential.

“Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity. For too long they have suffered from under-investment.

“This government has a long-term plan to secure the country’s future and this £15bn roads programme is demonstration of that. Better roads allow us to travel freely, creating jobs and opportunities, benefiting hardworking families across the country.”

New projects include a commitment of £2bn to dual the entire A303 and A358 to the south west, including a tunnel at Stonehenge. This will allow roads users to drive on a dual carriageway from London to within 15 miles of Land’s End.

About £290m will be set aside to complete the dualling of the A1 all the way from London to Ellingham, 25 miles from the Scottish border.

The entire length of the M62 from Manchester to Leeds will be turned into a ‘smart motorway’, where the hard shoulder can be used as a lane of traffic.

In the south east, the A27 will benefit from £350m of improvements aimed at alleviating congestion at Arundel, Worthing and Lewes.

No less than £300m will go towards upgrading the east-west connection to Norfolk, by dualling sections of the A47 and improving its connections to the A1 and recently-upgraded A11.

Some of the 100 projects had been announced previously, but the government claims 84 of them are new. It estimates that more than 6200 construction jobs will be created around the country during the road-building scheme.

Opposition figures have questioned where the funding will come from. Similarly ambitious road schemes announced in the past – most notably the Roads for Prosperity program of 1989 – were later abandoned because of a shortfall of funds and widespread public opposition.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review

Ford's family car is now in its fourth iteration, but is the Mondeo ready to take the fight to a world burgeoning with rivals?

Join the debate

Comments
13
Add a comment…
5wheels 3 December 2014

Infinitum

quote
schemes that will take place over this parliament and the next.
Unquote
and the next and the next and the next and and and and
bomb 3 December 2014

I wonder what happened...

...to John Major's promise about coordinating road resurfacing with utilities works? It seems that whenever we get a nice new stretch of tarmac it's gets dug up within a few months and so starts the steady cycle of patched up crap that won't get touched again for 30 years.
5wheels 3 December 2014

oldies may remember him and This

bomb wrote:

...to John Major's promise about coordinating road resurfacing with utilities works? It seems that whenever we get a nice new stretch of tarmac it's gets dug up within a few months and so starts the steady cycle of patched up crap that won't get touched again for 30 years.

There I was
Diggin this 'ol
'ol in the ground
sort of big and round
It was flat at the bottom and sides were steep
when along comes this bloke in Bowler (not the jeep either)
lol

Norma Smellons 3 December 2014

@289

Quite agree, we cannot afford to spend money we don't have on roads. Similarly, neither can we waste vast amounts of money (and credibility) implementing Price Controls with respect to the (highly volatile) global energy market. Still, if you're up for a bit of Soviet-style economic mismanagement then vote for Ed Miliband as he wants that too. Or maybe try North Korea.

Find an Autocar car review