Chancellor to pump extra £1.3bn into local roads

Date: 21 Nov 2016

Chancellor Phillip Hammond will unveil a £1.3bn programme of local road and pinpoint improvements in the Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

His modest road spending pledge falls short of industry hopes for a grandiose post-Brexit vote spending boost for infrastructure to combat slowing economic growth.

Instead the Government is looking to leverage more by supporting smaller, productivity-boosting projects.

The Chancellor will prioritise projects that can be built quickly to deliver quick wins, while easing road congestion which costs the country £13bn each year.

The roads package forms part of an expected £5bn economic stimulus. Around £1.1bn will go to reducing congestion and upgrading local roads and the remaining £220m into tackling “pinch points” on England’s motorways and major A roads.

The Chacellor will also pledge £27m to develop plans for a major new expressway connecting Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

This will allow detailed design work to get underway straightaway on the so-called brain belt expressway.

There is also expected to be a modest package to expand existing grammar schools.

House builders that stockpile land will also be threatened with fines under plans which will be detailed later this year.

His statement is also expected to include measures to help smaller house-builders.

A £3bn housing fund has already been announced and will help small family-owned firms build 25,000 new homes by 2020 and up to 225,000 in the longer term.

A separate £2bn loan fund will pay for a further 15,000 new homes by 2020 on surplus public sector land with extra cash.


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