The chancellor’s commitment to an ‘infrastructure revolution’ in yesterday’s (4 September 2019) Spending Review has been welcomed within roads and logistics organisations.
Announced ahead of a possible general election, Sajid Javid’s £13.8bn package of measures marks the fastest planned increase in public spending in more than 15 years, intended to usher in “a new economic era” and “turning the page” on austerity.
As well as earmarking £2bn for Brexit delivery, Javid said the Government would publish an infrastructure strategy review later this year.
Javid said: “We want to build and invest in every region and every nation of this great United Kingdom.
“From the motor highway to the information highway… we’ll settle for nothing less than an infrastructure revolution.”
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) welcomed the comments. Heidi Skinner, head of policy & public affairs manager at the FTA, commented: “We are pleased to see the Government’s strategy for an ‘infrastructure revolution’: a plan to rebuild our national infrastructure. Effective connectivity for all modes of transport is essential for UK trade and for meeting the needs of people and business. Ahead of the Budget later this year, FTA calls on HM Treasury to work closely with the logistics industry to ensure UK connectivity is prioritised.”
The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) also greeted the announcement. Chairman Rick Green said: “It was good to hear the chancellor acknowledge the importance of infrastructure investment in his statement and we hope that funding for local roads is prioritised by the Government when more details are shared later this autumn.
“Every journey starts or ends on a local road and they make up 98% of the road network. We rely on them every day for the distribution of goods and services and to get to work, school and hospital appointments, but our Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey (ALARM) 2019 reported that the backlog of repairs is now £9.8bn.
“A long-term approach is needed to support this vital part of our infrastructure – a view supported by the Transport Select Committee’s recent report on local roads funding and maintenance. We believe that an extra £1.5bn per year, for 10 years, is needed to bring road conditions up to a level from which they can be maintained cost effectively going forward.”