The Chancellor announced increased funding for roads and rail projects in the Autumn Budget this week.

The extra funds committed to roads and rail are welcome news for the industry. The key transport infrastructure announcements in the Autumn Budget were:  

  • Northern Powerhouse Rail – Northern Powerhouse Rail will transform the economic geography of the North, connecting cities with faster, more frequent services to boost growth and improve the experiences of passengers across the region. The Budget announced up to a further £37 million to support the development of Northern Powerhouse Rail, building on £300 million already committed to ensure HS2 infrastructure can accommodate future potential Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Engine Rail services. The first business case of the scheme is due at the end of the year.

  • East West Rail – A new East West Rail company has been set up to accelerate the delivery of the central railway section between Cambridge and Bedford. The government is providing a further £20 million to develop a strategic outline business case for the railway. This will explore which routes best support the government’s vision to unlock up to 1 million new homes by 2050. 

  • National Roads Fund – The government is delivering its commitment to ring-fence English Vehicle Excise Duty to roads spending, announcing that the National Roads Fund will be £28.8 billion between 2020-25. The Fund will provide long-term certainty for roads investment, including the new major roads network and large local major roads schemes, such as the North Devon Link Road.

  • Roads Investment Strategy 2 – The Budget announced the draft Roads Investment Strategy 2. This is the largest ever investment in England’s strategic roads and will enable the government to build on the successes of Roads Investment Strategy 1, such as the A1(M) link to Newcastle, and progress transformative projects like the A66 Trans-Pennine, the Oxford‑Cambridge Expressway, and the Lower Thames Crossing. The government expects to spend £25.3 billion on this strategy, funded by the National Roads Fund, between 2020-25.

  • Local roads – £420 million will be allocated to local authorities in 2018‑19 to tackle potholes, repair damaged roads, and invest in keeping bridges open and safe. To support projects across England that ease congestion on local routes, the government will also make £150 million of Norther Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) funding available to local authorities for small improvement projects such as roundabouts.

  • Transforming Cities Fund extension – As part of the NPIF, the government is extending the Transforming Cities Fund by a year to 2022-23. This will provide an extra £240 million to the six metro mayors for significant transport investment in their areas: £21 million for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; £69.5 million for Greater Manchester; £38.5 million for Liverpool City Region; £23 million for West of England; £71.5 million for the West Midlands; and £16.5 million for Tees Valley. A further £440 million will be made available to the city regions shortlisted for competitive funding. Ten city regions are eligible for this funding, and the government will shortly be announcing a further two.

  • Transforming Cities Fund: Future Mobility Zones – To support the Industrial Strategy Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, £90 million from the NPIF will be allocated to the Transforming Cities Fund to create Future Mobility Zones. This will trial new transport modes, services, and digital payments and ticketing. £20 million of this will be allocated to the West Midlands.

If you would like more information on any of these announcements or to learn learn more about how JFG Comms can help your organisation with transport and infrastructure issues, check out our work or get in touch