Latest Public Sector News

08.03.17

Hammond launches £690m competition to tackle urban congestion

A £690m competition was launched today to allow local authorities across England to tackle urban congestion and get local transport networks back on the move.

The initiative was announced by Phillip Hammond in the Spring Budget as the chancellor explained his spending plans for the coming year, going on to explain that the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, would be announcing more details about the details of the policy shortly.

Money for the project will come from the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) which builds on funds from November 2016 when the chancellor announced £2.6bn worth of funds, which aims to add a further £23bn to areas deemed critical for productivity in the next couple of years.

Building on the announcement related to transport infrastructure, Hammond also said that £90m would be made available for the north and £23m for the Midlands from a £220 fund addressing pinch points on the national road network.

Allocations from the NPIF have also been made for the following years as local transport infrastructure projects in Blackpool, Cheshire and Leicester will go ahead.

The chancellor also went on to say that a strategic study had been completed into relieving congestion on the south-west sections of the M25 and are now looking into options ahead of the upcoming Road Investment Strategy.

He said: “Because we believe local areas understand local productivity barriers better than central government, we make further progress with our plans to bolster the regions.”

The LGA's transport spokesman councillor Martin Tett said: "We are pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of investing in local roads, particularly those that are heavily congested. Whilst more money to solve congestion problems is good news, we need to see the detail behind the headline.

"We hope the Government directs this money towards local roads to help local people. Councils stand ready to work with central government to identify local schemes that can be delivered quickly."

He added: "Councils need the ability to plan for the long-term as, after all, it takes time to build new roads. 

"We would ask they should be given a long-term commitment on funding as opposed to annual announcements. Competitive bidding can be a time-consuming process and decisions are best left to local people.”

It was also announced that the Midlands Engine strategy would be revealed tomorrow, which will explain in detail how the government will address productivity barriers across the region.

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Comments

Stockley   09/03/2017 at 11:39

Those of us who are trying to run electric cars, and don't live in large cities, are having huge difficulty in finding charge points. Please can something be done to increase greatly the number of charge points through the south east, and perhaps even standardise them so that they all have the same connections and charge times? Currently I have to sit in the park and ride for 3 hours (if the point is vacant) before continuing my journey... time wise, it's not worth making the journey, therefore my diesel car is brought out. many thanks.

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