The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the government’s announcement that all the major projects in the Highways Agency pipeline for the Strategic Road Network are to be delivered.
The FTA’s submission to the Treasury on the Spending Review called for it to ensure that infrastructure was protected, and emphasised the role of government in providing investment in transport infrastructure and also in creating the certainty which will allow the private sector to deliver where government either cannot or should not.
James Hookham, FTA’s managing director - policy & communications, said: “We welcome the government’s focus on infrastructure spending and the recognition of its value in order to stimulate growth in the wider economy. The government appears to have accepted the case for targeting roads investment at the priority routes identified by FTA members, giving the go-ahead for major schemes that form part of our trade routes, such as the M6 from Birmingham to Manchester and the A1 north of Newcastle.
“FTA will be looking closely at the detail of the schemes that the government has said will be delivered - including the standard to which roads will be upgraded and future government plans for tolling.”
In its submission to the Treasury, FTA also called for greater certainty to foster business confidence and allow the private sector to invest.
Hookham continued: “Today’s announcement about the transformation of the Highways Agency into a publicly owned corporation and the provision of security in longer-term planning is a must and has been FTA’s desired approach for some time.
“The government has acknowledged that money has been wasted by stop-start plans for road investment in the past, and we will carefully assess the legislation that is brought forward to reform the Agency to ensure that it delivers the required service levels and priorities for FTA members.”