Commenting on the Government Transport Investment Strategy published to be published on Wednesday, Chris Richards, Head of Business Environment Policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“Today's announcement reconfirming the creation of a VED-linked Roads Fund, to be extended beyond the strategic road network with local authority managed A-roads and funding available for strategic local road maintenance, is significant. It is a major victory for manufacturers seeing their growth impaired by poor local road connectivity.
“Manufacturers consistently rate the UK's road network as their highest priority for infrastructure investment with local roads, long considered the Cinderella of infrastructure spend, cited as deteriorating in quality the most. If this is backed up by action it has the potential to reverse that trend.
“However beyond today's announcement there will need to be rapid action to avoid the drift we've seen with other infrastructure announcements. This must include legislation to give permanence to the Roads Fund, the creation of Strategic Transport Bodies to cover all of England to provide coordination on which local roads are of strategic regional importance and clear timescales on when these bodies will have access to the Roads Fund to repair and upgrade local roads - England's most valuable infrastructure asset.”