The government is set to spend £61bn on capital transport projects and programmes over the next five years, the chancellor has revealed.
George Osborne announced during today’s Spending Review his plans to increase capital funding by 50 per cent for major transport projects and programmes such as High Speed 2, Network Rail’s electrification and transport infrastructure to drive the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.
More than £13.4bn will be spent on the Roads Investment Strategy over the next five years, with £5bn of funding being secured for roads maintenance.
The government has committed to a £300m Transport Development Fund that will support the next generation of transport projects including Crossrail 2 and proposals emerging from the Northern Transport Strategy.
The Department for Transport said it would continue to devolve significant transport powers to mayor-led city regions, including Greater Manchester, Sheffield City Region, Liverpool City Region, the North-east, Tees Valley and the West Midlands.
Large local transport projects such as the Lowestoft Third River Crossing deemed too expensive for local governments to fund will now be supported by a new £475m fund.
The announcements came despite Mr Osborne revealing that the DfT’s operational budget would be cut by 37 per cent.
As part of the capital spend the chancellor announced that London’s transport infrastructure would receive £11bn in funding.
Mr Osborne said he would try to deal with the £12.2bn deficit in local roads maintenance by setting up a new £250m “Pothole Fund” used to repair local roads across the country.
The government will invest more than £300m in the construction of cycling infrastructure across the UK, with £250m being used to reduce the congestion known as Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This settlement is a great boost for the future of Britain. Faced with difficult decisions on the public finances we could have rolled back our ambition on transport.
“Instead, we are choosing to invest for the future by increasing capital investment in Britain’s transport network by 50 per cent to £61bn over this parliament.
“This will support jobs, enable economic growth and bring our country closer together.
“Investing in transport is vital to ensuring the whole of Britain benefits from a growing economy.
“By massively upgrading our railways and roads, investing in HS2, the Northern Powerhouse, buses and sustainable transport, we are delivering the long-term commitments necessary to provide security and opportunity for working people.