The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) has welcomed the Chancellor’s emphasis on the need for a well-maintained local road network as part of his Spending Review.
The National Infrastructure Strategy, underlines how ‘well maintained local roads allow for faster and reliable journeys, boosting local businesses and serving all road users.’
The Strategy confirms the Government commitment of £1.125 billion of local roads maintenance funding in 2021-22 including £500 million for the Potholes Fund to fix potholes and surface roads.
This will be supported by £260 million allocated to Local Authorities in 2021-22 for shovel ready local transport schemes through the Integrated Transport Block, including public transport and active travel upgrades. The government is also investing £310 million in 2021-22 in upgrading the road network. Altogether, this means that the government is investing £1.7 billion in local roads in 2021-22.
“Whilst the additional £500 million funding is not new, having already been highlighted in the March budget, the government’s commitment to maintaining the capital maintenance block allocation for improving the local road network, despite the significant public borrowing costs of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, is welcomed and represents a significant overall increase,” said Paul Boss, RSTA chief executive.
“We will continue to work with both national and local government to ensure proactive cost effective investment in, what the National Infrastructure Strategy rightly calls, ‘one of the UK’s most valuable public assets.’
At the same time, as part of the launch of the Government’s ten point plan ‘for a green industrial recolution’, there will be 582m for the Plug-in Car, Van, Taxi, and Motorcycle Grant until 2022-23, and £275m to help increase charge point installation in homes, workplaces and on-street locations. As well as that, £950m will be provided to build rapid charging points at every service station in the UK, taking the total investment for charging infrastructure and similar activities to £1.9bn.