Infrastructure programme: Beware - major roadworks ahead

 

Britain's road and rail networks are to get a multibillion pound upgrade as George Osborne attempts to build his way to economic recovery.

Click HERE to view graphic

The Chancellor set out details yesterday of a major infrastructure programme to generate work for struggling small business and create thousands of jobs. Some 35 new transport schemes got the go-ahead, including a new train route between Oxford and Bedford and the electrification of the TransPennine link between Manchester and Leeds in a move to cut journey times.

He also confirmed plans to build new free and primary schools, as well as pressing ahead with the roll-out of broadband coverage across the country.

Airports will be expanded, while power stations and waste facilities built as part of the £30bn infrastructure programme, of which £5bn would be found from cuts elsewhere in government spending.

Mr Osborne said the moves were necessary because Britain risked "falling behind the rest of the world" without significant investment in its key transport links. But critics yesterday warned that the programme was a drop in the ocean of overall spending and might not be enough to kick-start recovery.

Roadworks loom for much of the country as a series of motorways and A-roads are improved. They include the construction of the Manchester Airport and Crewe link roads as well as the widening of the A14 which links the port of Felixstowe to the Midlands.

New rail stations will be built in Yorkshire and more trams provided, and tolls on the Humber Bridge will be halved. The Chancellor also pledged to bring forward investment on the Tyne and Wear Metro and allocated £50m to help to safeguard the overnight sleeper train link between London and Scotland.

He backed work on a new bridge over the Thames between Kent and Essex and said other sites for crossings of the river. He also signalled his support the extension of London Underground's Northern Line to Battersea, south London. Mr Osborne ruled out a third runway at Heathrow airport but said that all other options would be explored "for maintaining the UK's aviation hub status" – a hint that Boris Johnson's plans to build a new airport off the Kent coast would be scrutinised.

The programme included an extra £1.2bn for schools, about half of it to fund the creation of 100 new free schools and the rest to build extra primary school places in inner-city areas in places such as London and Birmingham.Mr Osborne pledged to overhaul the country's digital links, saying that the Government was funding plans to bring superfast broadband to 90 per cent of homes and businesses across the country. "World-leading, superfast broadband and Wi-Fi connections" would be brought to the nation's four capitals – London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast – as well as six major cities to be chosen in a competition, he said.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Marketing Executive - B2B - OTE £25,000

£17000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity to join this new...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £21000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Recruitment Genius: Business Control Manager

£36000 - £44000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Encouraging more businesses to ...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower