Chancellor Philip Hammond has failed to address the fundamental issue facing the UK’s transport infrastructure – there is little point in making significant investments in headline projects if the roads that connect them are potholed and crumbling away.
“Unfortunately, the Chancellor has today has shown the same lack of understanding as his predecessors. The £1.1 billion announced in today’s Autumn Statement for local transport networks will do little to address the decades of underinvestment in load road maintenance which has resulted in a £12 billion backlog of pothole repairs”, said Howard Robinson, chief executive of the Roads Surface Treatments Association (RSTA).
He continued: “The Chancellor makes much of the need to invest in infrastructure to prove that Britain is open for business. Yet over 90 per cent of our traffic is carried by a local road network that is simply not up to scratch. He has failed to understand that the local road network is the essential link to headline projects such as the Cambridge to Oxford expressway.
Investment in infrastructure may be summed up by the idiom ‘learn to walk before you run’. Invest in fundamental and essential road maintenance before you announce grand projects. Or do both.”