Local roads are set to benefit from a share in a multi-billion pound improvement fund as part of an investment strategy unveiled by transport secretary Chris Grayling.
The Transport Investment Strategy sets out a new long-term approach for government infrastructure spending – meaning cash will be targeted at projects that help rebalance the economy.
It features the proposed creation of a new major road network, which would see a share of the annual National Road Fund, funded by vehicle excise duty (VED), given to local authorities to improve or replace the most important A roads under their management.
Grayling said: “The transport investment strategy sets out a blueprint for how we can harness the power of transport investment to drive balanced economic growth, unlock new housing projects, and support the government’s modern industrial strategy.
“This government is taking the big transport decisions for Britain’s future like HS2 and Heathrow, while delivering the biggest investment in roads and rail for a generation.
“At the heart of our approach is a plan to make transport work for the people who use it and for the wider economy.”
The proposals for the major road network respond to the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund study last year, which highlighted the disparity between the funding and planning of Britain’s motorways – the strategic road network – and local authority A roads.
The new plans mean that main roads currently overseen by local authorities would share the VED-funded National Roads Fund which was previously envisaged to be ring-fenced for national routes. UK VED was £5.8n for 2016-17.