The Government says it will redirect billions of pounds saved through the cancellation of HS2 to other transport projects.
The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester yesterday (Wednesday, October 4), that HS2 would be delivered between Birmingham and Euston in central London as planned.
However, he told delegates “every penny” that would have been spent building new track between the West Midlands and Manchester will instead be redirected into roads, rail and buses.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will allocate £12 billion for links between Liverpool and Manchester to ensure the delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and then invest £36bn in hundreds of projects in towns, cities and rural areas across our whole country, and in roads, rail and buses.
Billions will be spent on mending potholes, while major road improvement plans have been given the green light.
These include a new link road between the M62 and the M60, Manchester’s ring road and the busiest freight route outside the M25.
Ther are more than 70 other road schemes planned, including upgrades to the A1, the A2, the A5, the M6.
“Cars and road transport are vital to how we live and work,” said Edmund King, the AA’s president.
Government figures show 58% of trips and 78% of distance travelled are made with cars, with more than 80% of freight being transported by road and indeed the most popular form of public transport, busses, use the roads.
King continued: “All modes of transport are important in the UK with public transport playing a major role particularly in our towns and cities.
“An efficient road network though is vital for the economy and environment. Congestion costs businesses billions of pounds and is detrimental to air quality and CO2 emissions.
“Upgrading key roads will greatly enhance connectivity and indeed road safety. Improving unsafe, congested, single carriageway roads and building essential bypasses, can improve traffic flows and air quality whilst reducing collisions.”
King welcomed the upgrading of key roads and the intention to resurface roads across the country and said the AA was looking forward to seeing the full plans and details.