Fleet News

£6 billion for motorways, road tolls and car-sharing lanes

Transport secretary Ruth Kelly has announced a £6 billion investment package for England's motorways and other key roads.

At the same time she published her paper - Roads - Delivering Choice and Reliability – which provides more detail on her plans to tackle congestion.

The paper confirms her intentions to fund a mix of initiatives, such as opening the hard shoulder to traffic on almost 500 lane miles of motorway, introducing more car-share and tolling lanes.

"I am determined to get the best from our road network,” Ruth Kelly said. “The greatest barrier to this is congestion.”

The £6 billion will pay for measures like opening the hard shoulder as well as conventional widening: "I am also interested to see what role car-share or tolled lanes could play in helping traffic flow more smoothly.”

However, hard shoulder running has its critics.

Dan Robinson, head of Green Flag said hard shoulder running is a “short-term solution rather than the answer to improving overcrowded roads and it does have some road safety implications”.

New funding has also been announced for eight areas - Bristol, Greater Manchester, Leicester, London, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands – who will get the first allocation of the £60m Urban Congestion Performance Fund.

Leeds has also won ‘pump-priming funding’ to join those local authorities looking at tackling congestion through public transport improvements combined with local congestion charging.

Cambridgeshire and Reading also receive further funds to carry on developing their congestion reducing plans.

"The majority of congestion is in our towns and cities, where the answer cannot be building new roads.

"That is why I will continue to support councils who want to investigate whether radical packages, which include public transport improvements combined with local congestion charging, would be the right solution for them,” said Ms Kelly.


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