The amount of roads or motorways given priority funding status is set to double, which is set to help in efforts to develop a new major road network (MRN).
Vehicle excise duty (VED) will be used to pay for upkeep of highways, a move which is celebrated by industry groups. The scheme was awarded funding in May 2017.
The plans are set to go out to consultation later in 2017 are a part of an updated transport investment strategy. Including a proportion of the VED-funded national roads fund which will be allocated to pay for the upkeep of the most important local authority A-roads.
Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary stated the MRN would reflect the successful approach of the Strategic Road Network and allow for improvements like bypasses to be developed around currently congested towns and villages. A middle tier between the SRN and what remains of the local road network would be formed.
In a statement the RHA stated they believed the proposed plans would decrease journey times around the country, as well as bringing relief to those disturbed by HGV traffic on main roads in more rural areas of the country:
“Unlike the many thousands of motorists who use the road network everyday, the UK’s roads and motorways are a haulier’s workplace”
Richard Burnett, Chief Exec of the RHA had to say regarding the plans. The Local Government Association told reports:
“This funding could help improve existing local roads for which there is a £13bn repairs backlog. However, this can only help if it is new money, and not substitute for existing funding.”
In villages like Isham, with the bypass now infamous with locals for chaotic traffic many drivers are anticipating the development of the plans, hoping it will reduce traffic levels and mean a much easier and shorter journey home from work while hauliers can continue with work without being delayed constantly by using such routes in the town.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said:
“The Isham bypass is a priority scheme for the county council and we are committed to making it happen. Not only will it help benefit economic growth in the county but it will also bring much-needed relief to the village of Isham.
“The design of the scheme has been determined for some time. At present, £25m funding towards the current £38.5m cost of the scheme has been secured through the government’s Growth Deal. We are looking at a variety of options to bridge the funding gap and would consider all funding possibilities as and when opportunities arise.”
Many expect the change to have a positive impact on community in the town.
The FTA welcomed the news “The government focus on investing in roads which will deliver improved performance, economic growth and reduce bottlenecks, is correct.” Said FTA head of national policy Christopher Snelling.