The congestion on roads is often raised with me by Chelmsford residents, so I welcome the government’s latest step to invest in the road network in England.
I’ll be working with Essex and Chelmsford councillors and making the case to the Transport Secretary. We want to to make sure that we get our fair share of funding locally, especially for projects like the upgrade to the A12 and getting a new north east Chelmsford bypass built.
This cash will aim to improve local roads that were “de-trunked” by Labour nearly two decades ago and is part of a fund totalling more than £61 billion to 2020/21 that will upgrade the road and rail network.
With a significant element of the fund set aside for improvements, like bypasses, the plan will aim to decongest local towns, create smoother journeys, reduce air pollution and – in some places – create a better opportunity for the housing developments that we need for the future.
The Transport Investment Strategy sets out a new long-term approach for government infrastructure spending – meaning cash will be targeted at projects that help rebalance the economy. And it features the proposed creation of a new Major Road Network, which would see a share of the annual National Road Fund, funded by Vehicle Excise Duty – which restores the link between the amount that people pay in car tax and the amount spent on roads – to end the disparity between Britain’s motorways and local A roads.