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Roads sector to get £28bn investment and long-term pipeline

The government has committed to invest £28bn in roads in the six years from 2015/16, with crucial investment in maintenance to benefit from £10bn.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said there would be £10bn of investment in roads maintenance, with £4bn to be spent on national road maintenance, including resurfacing 21,000 miles of roads.

He said £6bn would be spend at a local level, allowing local authorities to fill the equivalent of 59m potholes.

The government has committed to all major projects in the Highways Agency pipeline.

These include a £1.5bn upgrade to the A14, for which construction will be brought forward to 2016.

He said: “This government will invest over £28bn over the six years from 2014 in enhancements and maintenance of national and local roads.

“Firstly, we will take action to fix the backlog of maintenance, which has left road surfaces in communities up and down the country crumbling. We are committing £10bn of investment in road repairs between 2015/16 and 2020/21.

“More than £4bn of that money will be spent on national road maintenance – enough to resurface over 21,000 miles of road; the equivalent of London to Beijing and back.

“The other £6bn of that money will be spent at a local level – allowing local authorities to fill the equivalent of 19m pot holes a year.”

Other schemes to receive upgrades include:

The A19 between Newcastle and South Shields;

The A63 in Hull;

The M6 junctions between Birmingham and Manchester;

The M5 junctions Bromsgrove to Worcester;

The A38 Derby Junctions

The M1 junction near Long Eaton and south of Rugby;

The A21 Tonbridge to Pembury

Junctions on the M4

The M23 Gatwick junctions

The A27 Chichester bypass

A19 in Newcastle

A63 in Hull

M6 in Birmingham

Upgrades to junctions at the M1 and A38.

The chief secretary said he would legislate for reforms for the Highways Agency, allowing it to receive a long-term pipeline of work.

He said: “I can announce that we are transforming the Highways Agency into a publicly owned corporation: an organisation that will have the long-term funding certainty and flexibility to deliver the best possible road network for the UK’s motorists.

“And we are legislating to ensure these reforms and this investment is guaranteed.”

However, Labour’s Chris Leslie described the chief secretary’s announcements as “a lot of hot air” and asked “when is government going to pull the finger out and start to build something”.

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