The Government does not intend to legislate to create the National Roads Fund from 2020, Transport Network understands, in what some say is a watering down of the plans.
Senior Whitehall sources suggested the original idea was to legislate, and this retreat could suggest a weakening of the commitment in the same way the new government backtracked on making the National Infrastructure Commission a statutory body.
In response to questions from Transport Network, both Department for Transport officials and Transport Minister Andrew Jones declined to state whether the fund – which would be created through hypothecating vehicle excise duty (VED) – would be guaranteed under legislation.
However a DfT spokesman said there was no need to legislate and told Transport Network that the focus was on delivering the fund in the most efficient way.
Mr Jones said: “We have no intention of making any changes in our funding arrangements. The general principle of giving more clarity on [Highways England] funding is an absolute given and the hypothecation of the roads fund is a part of that.”
You can read the full story on Transport Network here.
By Dom Browne.