Government Promises ‘Next Steps’ in Latter Part of 2017 for Road Improvement Schemes

  Government ministers have recently made a promise to take the ‘next steps’ in regards to a total of 55 road improvement schemes within the latter part of the year. These 55 road improvement programmes and schemes are all part of the existing RIS, or Road Investment Strategy, which comes to a total worth of £6.1 billion.   Along with the pledge of ‘next steps,’ the government has also stated that it will be proclaiming the winners of the highways maintenance challenge fund for 2017 and 2018, and this fund is also worth a total of £75 million to local councils and authorities.    

Local Road funds

Local Road funds

The government’s plans

 

According to the DfT, or Department for Transport, the ‘next steps’ which will be performed for road improvement programmes and schemes will include the opening or launching of 8 schemes, consultation for 10 schemes, and the publishing of final plans for the remaining 29 schemes.

 

Jesse Norman, the new minister for roads, also adds that road users throughout England will see the benefits of the aforementioned road improvements soon in their day to day lives, since these improvements are designed to create better links between people and their jobs, their families, their friends, as well as local resources and amenities, and will establish better connections between businesses and their customers.

 

Mr. Norman adds that they will shortly announce and proclaim the winners of the maintenance challenge fund for highways, through which the government plans to invest a further £75 million for the improvement of local road networks, which include the filling of potholes, road resurfacing, and other projects geared towards the improvement of road infrastructure.

 

RAC Foundation welcomes announcement 

 

The RAC Foundation’s director, Steve Gooding, also expresses his optimism. According to Mr. Gooding, the initial investment strategy for roads gave the assurance to millions of businesses as well as road users that their travel requirements for the long-term were being provided for and taken more seriously. But there has always been the fear that these road schemes and programmes tend to ‘fade away’ like the morning mists. But this latest announcement, as Mr. Gooding confirms, is a welcome sign and demonstration of the government’s promise that the funds are not only there and ready to use – but they are being expended on worthwhile and relevant schemes, and that the group’s call for local road improvements is now being heard.

 

Some of the schemes that are set to begin and progress include the new route for the A19 junction on Downhill Lane, which the Department for Transport has stated will support and give prime access to a new multinational park for manufacturing firms, since it will significantly increase the capacity of the road, improve safety, and reduce traffic congestion.   

Posted on 04 Sep 2017 in News

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