The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced a multi-billion package to upgrade roads and railways to help support the country’s economic recovery.
There will be a £1.7 billion investment to improve journeys for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers across England will be made through repairs to local roads is part of the Government’s plan to ‘level up’ infrastructure in the UK.
The DfT said it will work on ‘fast-tracking’ construction works worth £1875 million to ensure networks get vital repairs while fewer passengers are using transport system. These include plans to lock in environmental benefits seen during lockdown with vision to boost England’s charging infrastructure for electric vehicles over next decade, says the department.
Hundreds of millions of pounds worth of upgrades have already been made to the nation’s road and rail networks during the lockdown period with more planned over the coming weeks and months, as reported by Highways News.
Drivers and cyclists beginning to return to England’s streets will benefit from a £1.7bn Transport Infrastructure Investment Fund to improve roads, repair bridges and fill in millions of potholes, says the DfT.
The package will target around 11 million nuisance potholes, enough to tarmac a road stretching a third of the way around the Earth. It will also see smaller improvements completed to upgrade local networks, such as enhancing road safety at key locations, the installation of priority bus lanes, and the creation of projects to help lock in improvements in air quality experienced during lockdown.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “There has been a monumental effort in every corner of the country to slow the spread of the virus and protect our NHS. However, the battle is not over yet and we urge everyone to keep up the good work and only travel when they need to. To help those who do have to use public transport or get out on the roads to do their jobs, we have been accelerating infrastructure upgrades to make sure that, as we gradually reopen our society, everyone can benefit from smoother and safer journeys with better connections for our future.”
On top of this fund, the government is also accelerating more than £175 million worth of work during the quieter period across our road and rail network while people follow the guidance to avoid unnecessary travel.
Major improvement works have already taken place over the past month. England’s motorways and major A-roads benefitted from £200 million of work carried out in April while some £550 million of improvements and maintenance were also completed on the rail network.