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Autumn Statement 2016: Government to spend £1.3bn to ease road congestion

The government is set to inject more than £1bn into upgrading the country’s road network as part of the chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Philip Hammond will commit to spending more than £1.3bn to help ease congestion on the country’s roads.

This includes £1.1bn for upgrading local roads and an extra £220m for Highways England to tackle “pinch-points” on England’s motorways and major A-roads.

The Treasury previously said road congestion currently costs the UK economy £13bn every year and that 100 million working days could be lost by 2040 unless action is taken now.

Among the projects set to be given the go-ahead is a £27m expressway connecting Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge, which was recommended by the National Infrastructure Commission in its report into east-west transport links published last week.

This is the first portion of infrastructure spending announced by the government as part of the Autumn Statement.

Reports have suggested the chancellor could borrow £15bn to go towards road, rail, energy and other infrastructure projects.

The chancellor told MPs in September that the government would be focusing on “modest and rapidly deliverable investments” as part of the Autumn Statement.

Writing for the Telegraph yesterday, Mr Hammond said: “By investing in our national infrastructure and skills, we can do even better than before; we can improve our historically low levels of productivity and up our game even more.

“For too long, taxpayer-funded investment hasn’t been sufficiently targeted on generating economic returns for the country. On my watch, it will be.”

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