Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced that funding for the UK's roads will be cut by up to 21% but that more than £10 billion committed to investment in road schemes will remain, including improving parts of the M1, M4, M5 and M62 as well as the widening of the M25 between ten key junctions.
Where the investment will be spent will be revealed in more detail by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond next week. There have been both concerns and approval.
Among those concerned include Edmund King, AA President, who said: “While we understand that transport must share its fair burden of expenditure cuts, we are making the case for road investment to reduce congestion, reduce CO2 and to reduce economic gloom”.
Neil Greig of the Institute of Advanced Motorists commented: "Budget cuts may be necessary but their cumulative effect on the emergency services and local highway authorities may make it more difficult to sustain past successes. It would be an awful legacy if budget cuts slowed or reversed the trend to less death and injury on the road."
Industry groups however viewed the cuts more positively with the investment in electric car grants and apprenticeship schemes potentially benefitting the UK in the long term.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) concurred. Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: “Across industry, businesses have had to take difficult decisions on how to make best use of limited resources and we welcome government taking a similar approach to ensuring long term stability for the economy. While some measures will require even tighter budgetary control, industry is supportive of decisions that promote our products and the UK as an attractive place to do business.”
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