CIHT responds to ‘Investing in Britain’s Future’

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander today gave more detail behind some of the key announcements outlined in yesterday’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

CIHT has been reviewing the statement and the supporting document ‘Investing in Britain’s Future’.

Sue Percy, Chief Executive, CIHT said:

“CIHT are pleased to see the importance and recognition being given to the role that is played by the transport sector in the UK’s economy. Whilst we initially welcome the high level announcements of investment in a number of transport schemes and projects, we will be reviewing these statements in more detail and assessing the finances behind them. It is unclear at this stage whether the figures announced represent any significant new investment or are recycling of existing finance.”

“Although pleased with this recognition, the UK must develop an integrated long term transport infrastructure investment strategy. To achieve success the strategy must have cross-party agreement and look beyond the political cycle to a 20 year timeframe.”

Investment in Infrastructure

The Institution has been calling for increased investment in infrastructure (including roads) to support economic growth. CIHT are encouraged by the increase in capital resources being provided for the road sector.

The Chief Secretary announced:

  • £28 billion to be invested from 2014-20 in enhancements and maintenance of national and local roads

CIHT believe that road building must form part of an integrated multi-modal transport strategy and should not be developed in isolation. Schemes that are developed through the National Roads Programme should be appraised with the full consideration of sustainability principles.

Sue Percy, Chief Executive, CIHT said:

“Whilst we welcome the investment outlined for the highways sector, CIHT believe that this must form part of a long-term multi modal strategy. This and future investment must not only be in large-scale high profile schemes but also in smaller scale projects that can have a direct positive impact on local communities and economies.’

“Everyone relies on or uses transport daily, integrated transport is fundamental to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the community. The whole transport network (including rail, buses, walking & cycling) is important to different users in different ways and must be effective to provide a safe and efficient level of service.”

Road Maintenance

CIHT wrote to the treasury calling for funding for the maintenance of our national and local roads.

The Chief Secretary has announced that there will be:

  • £10 billion of investment in road repairs between 2015-16 and 2020-21

And of that:

  • £4 billion on national road maintenance
  • £6 billion on local road maintenance

Sue Percy, Chief Executive, CIHT said:

“CIHT has continually called for the need to urgently address the maintenance of UK roads. The local road network covers 98% of all roads and includes many roads which play a vital role in connecting to the strategic road network and which help maintain regional and local businesses which are so critical to the national economy.”

“This announcement by the Government is an opportunity to recognise the value and importance of the local road network to the economy. CIHT believe that this funding needs to be available immediately to have the desired impact.”

Review of the Highways Agency

CIHT has called for strategic long term planning and financing for the transport sector.

The Chief Secretary announced that the Highways Agency would become a publicly owned corporation with long term funding certainty and flexibility. This would be supported by legislation to ensure these reforms and investment are guaranteed.

Sue Percy, Chief Executive, CIHT said:

“CIHT put forward proposals on the review of the Highways Agency including the need to develop a long-term strategy. CIHT hopes that the new arrangement will bring the certainty and confidence that the contracting side of the sector has been calling for. “

Investing in Britain’s Future

Other key announcements included:

  • Creation of the Single Local Growth Fund (£2bn a year) of which Local Enterprise Partnerships can bid
  • Delivery of the projects in the Highways Agency Pipeline & adding extra lanes to specific motorways
  • Rail projects including the building High Speed 2, electrification of parts of the rail network and investment in Crossrail

Sue Percy, Chief Executive, CIHT said:

“CIHT still await the formal response from the Government’s Roads Review. The concept of some form of link between road taxation and spending has been muted and CIHT look forward to more detail on this.”

“CIHT believe that the way the UK funds and delivers infrastructure projects needs to change to ensure that the UK is able to compete globally. Alternative funding models must satisfy the need for short, medium and longer term projects.”

CIHT’s initial comments on the Comprehensive Spending Review are available here


Notes for editors

Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation

CIHT is a membership organisation representing over 12,000 people who work in the highways and transportation sector.

CIHT members plan, design, build, operate and maintain best-in-class transport systems and infrastructure, whilst respecting the imperatives of improving safety, ensuring economic competitiveness and minimising environmental impact.

CIHT supports its member’s professional endeavours by:

• offering training, information, professional development and support
• promoting the value added to society by the profession
• being the focused voice to Governments and other decision makers on transportation expertise and knowledge.

For more information please contact:

Daniel Isichei
Director of Communications 

t: +44(0)20 7336 1567 | m: 07912 122573

Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation
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