Javid sets out multibillion-pound infrastructure investment pledges
An “infrastructure revolution” will see new investment in roads, buses and broadband under plans set out by Sajid Javid.
The Chancellor set out the first projects that will be included in the promised road investment strategy, a £5 billion package to support the roll-out of broadband and a £220 million fund for buses.
The investment in voter-friendly projects comes as the Conservatives gear up for an expected general election.
Mr Javid, who will address the Conservative Party conference on Monday, said: “Investment in our infrastructure will be key to making the next decade one of renewal – boosting our economy and making life easier for people all across the country.
“That’s why I am announcing new investment in roads, bus services, and broadband today: the first step in our plans to deliver an infrastructure revolution.
“This new multibillion-pound investment to deliver gigabit-capable broadband for all the UK and investment in roads and buses will help people to get around and businesses to grow, ensuring no community is left behind.
“This will make the UK a better place to live and work, extending opportunity and raising living standards for all.”
The first projects announced as part of the road investment strategy, a £25 billion fund covering major strategic links in England from 2020 to 2025, include:
– Dualling of the A66 Trans-Pennine expressway and the A46 Newark bypass
– Improvements to the M60 Simister Island interchange in Manchester
– Starting construction on the A428 to improve journeys between Cambridge and Milton Keynes
– Widening the A12
– Committing at least £5 billion to maintain and renew England’s strategic roads between 2020 and 2025.
Funding for buses includes £50 million available to develop one or two all-electric bus towns or cities.
Councils will be able to team up with bus companies to create low-fare, high-frequency “superbus” networks, where local authorities will invest in bus lanes and in exchange the operator will run more services – Cornwall will pilot the first scheme next year.
The Government will also set a goal for contactless payments to be made available on every city bus.
Some £20 million will go on trials of “on demand” bus services and £30 million will improve existing services or replace routes that had been cut.
The broadband promise is for £5 billion to support the roll-out of full-fibre, 5G and other gigabit-capable networks to the hardest-to-reach 20% of the country.
In his speech on Monday, Mr Javid will acknowledge that “successive governments failed to invest enough for the long term”.
“We’ve started to put that right, but we can do more – a lot more.”