AUTUMN STATEMENT - Tolls could fund new roads
29 November 2011
Author: Rupert Saunders
The UK could have more tolls roads as a result of government commitment to funding more infrastructure projects announced in the autumn statement.
The Chancellor committed £5bn of tax payers money to the new National Infrastructure Plan and is also hoping for £20bn of private investment in roads, rail links and other major transport improvements.
The Treasury documentation supporting the announcement added: "Government commits to increasing capacity and improving performance on the A14. The government will explore innovative ways of financing this work, including tolls, which will also be investigated for other new capacity proposals."
Other infrastructure projects which will get the go-ahead include the Manchester airport and Crew relief roads, a Bristol link route and improvements to the A45 and A43.
The Chancellor said the government will invest over £1 billion to tackle areas of congestion including £270 million for two new managed motorway schemes to allow use of the hard shoulder at congested times on the M3 and M6 and £150 million for improvements to the M1/M6 intersection.
However, it is worth noting that some of these schemes are already underway.
Julie Jenner, chairman of ACFO noted: "Successive governments have severely under invested in the nation's road network. Congestion costs businesses money, but the promised projects will take years and years to come to fruition. While we welcome the infrastructure investment, it is long overdue."
The Chancellor also pegged planned rail fare increases to inflation plus 1%, down from the inflation plus 3% that had been announced.