Contractors on tenterhooks over road plans

Highways contractors are urging the Government to back plans to kick start road building programmes using private sector funding.

The industry is pinning its hopes on good news for infrastructure investment in next week’s Autumn Statement announcement.

John Wilkinson, Managing Director, Public Sector Services at support services specialist May Gurney said: “As local authorities face budget cuts of 28%, getting the private sector to boost investment in highways infrastructure will be essential to help drive economic recovery.

“While toll roads can provide a route to a better highways network, we can’t price businesses and motorists off the roads.

“Highways planning decisions have to be based on a long term infrastructure strategy and we urge the Government to move road funding to a more ‘Pay-to-Use’ model as part of this review.

“While toll roads will help secure private sector investment these have to be combined with lower fuel surcharges and vehicle excise taxes to offset the cost to motorists.

“This would ensure the heaviest users of highways pay the most and there is an incentive for people to use other modes of transport for some (notably shorter) journeys.

“Failure to manage demand for highways will mean we still face grid-lock, regardless of additional investment in new roads.”

 

 
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