The government has announced plans to spend £15 billion on road improvement schemes by the end of the decade.
Prime Minister David Cameron revealed the plans while speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference in London on Monday, calling them a “road revolution.”
Some of the country’s most congested motorways and trunk roads will be widened, creating hundreds of miles of new lanes. The spending will be officially announced during Chancellor George Osbourne’s Autumn Statement on December 3.
Mr Cameron told the CBI: “In three weeks’ time you will see an Autumn Statement where we choose the future again. At its heart is the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching road improvement programme in four decades – over 100 improvements to our roads.
“Hundreds of extra lane miles on our motorways and trunk roads, the green light given to major projects that have been stalled for years,” he added.
Roads already earmarked for improvement include the A303 to the south-west, the A1 around Newcastle, the A47 in the east and the A27 to the south coast.
Among the more ambitious projects that could now go ahead is a tunnel on the A303, bypassing Stone Henge. £9 billion has already been spent on roads during the current parliament.
While the CBI welcomed the announcement, Shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher was less complimentary. He told Auto Express: “This is another pre-election con trick from David Cameron.
“This desperate so-called announcement of promised road improvements includes no additional money and people simply won’t fall for it.”
It’s worth noting that most of the schemes already slated pass through marginal constituencies. But it’s equally worth noting that Mr Dugher has not made a similar pledge of a future Labour government.
So, you could either interpret this announcement as a real promise to improve our roads, or our leaders simply playing pre-election politics. We’ll leave you, dear reader, to make up your own mind.