Aggregate Industries Contracting has welcomed new funding for local road infrastructure in the years to come. However, they claim that wider investment is vital now for the industry to sustain its current level of activity.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, recently announced a £1bn boost cash pot for English councils to improve local roads, following the new National Roads Fund, with £5.8bn collected from the vehicle excise duty in the 2016/17 financial year.
The funding was originally earmarked for motorways and major A-roads managed centrally by Highways England.
Paddy Murphy, Managing Director of Contracting Services at Aggregate Industries, said: “It is important to note that this funding isn’t expected to come in until at least 2020, when the reality is that many UK roads, both on a local and national level, are crying out for urgent investment now. Therefore, while this is certainly a step in the right direction, at this stage, with the Road Investment Strategy having some challenges in its delivery, what we really need is a comprehensive, long-term financial framework for the UK’s road investment policy.”
320.5 billion vehicle miles were travelled in the UK in 2016 – constituting a 1.2% increase on the previous year and the highest figure on record, according to the Department of Transport. It is estimated that 2017 will continue to see much of the same.
Paddy adds: “While we welcome a step up in infrastructure spend in the coming years, a rapid ramp up of funding is required in the near if we are to ensure capability and capacity are not compromised. We look forward to further clarity from the Government in the coming months.”
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