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2012 Autumn Statement - More money for road and rail

Date: 05 December 2012   |   Author: Rupert Saunders

Around £5bn of money saved from Whitehall budgets will be invested in new infrastructure projects with a significant amount of it being spent on road and rail, the Chancellor promised.

There are plans to invest an extra £1.5bn in our road network, of which £1bn will be allocated over the next five years. This appears to be new spending, over and above plans originally announced in the 2011 Autumn Statement.

Road projects that will get the go-ahead include an upgrading of the northern part of the A1 to motorway standard, a new link road between the A5 and the M1, and a dual carriageway for sections of the A30 in Cornwall.

There are also plans to tackle congestion around junction 30 of the M25 (but not until 2015) and, using existing money, junction 12 of the M40. There is a further, rather vague commitment to "provide £270 million for priority national and local projects to remove bottlenecks and support development".

The Chancellor said there would be a statement shortly on plans to extend the controversial planned HS2 rail link north from Birmingham to Yorkshire and the northwest - but there is no mention of it in the Treasury documents accompanying the statement.

He also announced the 'second wave' of 12 towns and cities that will benefit from previously announced £50m of high speed broadband investment.

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