Chris Grayling announces budgets for village bypasses

Screenshot 2017-07-10 17.47.26The UK’s transport-secretary has announced the allocation of a budget which will give local councils the funds needed to build bypasses around villages, towns and traffic bottlenecks. Chris Grayling confirmed there would be £1 billion a year available for councils and it would be funded by income from vehicle excise duty.

The Major Road Network programme will give regional councils the money needed to improve A-class roads under their jurisdictions. Under procedures currently in force, only Highways England can apply for road improvement grants from the government whereas councils have to find their own budgets for any enhancements. Highways England maintains the nation’s motorways and busier A-roads such as the A1.

The transport-secretary said it was important to get transport choices right to enable the country to evolve. He claimed that the current government was leading the way forward with the correct choices for roads, Heathrow Airport and the HS2 rail project.

The government says the road funding could be used to wipe out traffic bottlenecks and divert heavy traffic away from routes which skirt historic sites. City councils in Lincoln and Ely could apply for bypass funding to ensure their magnificent cathedrals are preserved for posterity. Likewise, Barrow-in-Furness council could apply for a budget to bypass a farm the A595 runs through.

Motoring organisations and road safety groups welcomed the government’s initiative. RAC director Steve Gooding said road improvements could be carried out on all 200,000 miles of the nation’s roads instead of the 4,000 the government focuses on at present.



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