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Tarmac: Britain needs a long-term roads plan

The government needs to set out its long-term vision for Britain’s road network, says Paul Fleetham, managing director of Tarmac NationalContracting and Middle East.

Responding to the chancellor’s autumn statement, Mr Fleetham said: “It is pleasing to see highways infrastructure spending move up the political agenda, but the government must now use this momentum to set out a clear and long-term vision for both the strategic and local road network,” he said.

“While the chancellor’s commitment to new road projects and additional funding for maintenance is welcome, it will not provide the adequate levels of funding to maintain our deteriorating road asset.

“It also remains unclear how much of the £333 million maintenance funding that councils will receive for the local network.

“Many local authorities are now operating with highways maintenance budgets that are up to 25 per cent less than four years ago, with the national annual maintenance shortfall now standing at £800m.

“We appreciate that the government faces tough spending decisions, but the public purse must provide more funding to help maintain our under-funded asset. The current reality is that revenues from fuel duty and road tax continue to exceed expenditure on roads by £30 billion per annum.”

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