James Evison 05 December 2013

AS2013: Infrastructure ‘needs to be overhauled’

The chancellor, George Osborne, has outlined his plans to invest in infrastructure as a central plank of the coalition government’s strategy for economic growth.

Mr Osborne welcomed the update to the National Infrastructure Plan outlined by chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, yesterday, and which included a multi-billion expenditure from the government on new transport projects across road and rail.

The government has faced criticism for the lack of shovel-ready schemes signed off as part of the work by the Treasury’s Infrastructure UK body, but Mr Osborne and Alexander have been keen this week to highlight new projects, such as HS2 and other road schemes.

Mr Osborne said in his statement that our infrastructure ‘needs to be overhauled’ and the UK should not hold back from investment in transport networks is if is to compete in the global world.

He said: ‘We are going to be spending more in capital in this decade than the whole of the last government.’

‘But that does not come without responsibilities. We have to decide whether we are serious about competing in the modern world.

‘This is why we should invest in new road and rail including the new High Speed rail 2 and northern hub project.’

The NIP included road schemes, such as the A14 and the A50 growth corridor around Uttoxeter, a move welcomed by the leader of Staffordshire CC.

Cllr Philip Atkins said: ‘This is tremendous news for businesses and communities, promising to cut traffic jams and speed journey times along one of the key trunk routes between the East and West Midlands.’

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