Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says investment in infrastructure is now more important than ever.
Speaking for the first time after the country voted to leave the European Union, Mr McLoughlin said: “I passionately wanted Britain to remain part of the European Union.
“But the people of the United Kingdom delivered their verdict. Now the entire government and I will work to deliver their instruction. Yes, we face a period of adjustment; economic, social and political. But as we step out into our new place in the world, I sincerely believe we do so from a position of strength.”
Mr McLoughlin told delegates at the National Infrastructure Forum in London that the government remains committed to investment in highways.
He added: “We are transforming northern roads, and electrifying northern railways. The first ever Road Investment Strategy will shortly be backed up by a second, delivering the largest spend on our roads for a generation.
“Altogether, transport spending will rise by 50% in this parliament. Because those who control the budgets know exactly how vital this programme is. And as we address the future and the consequences of our vote to leave the European Union (EU), one thing is certain. Investment in the long term infrastructure we need, has become more important, not less.”
The Transport Secretary reiterated the government’s message that the country’s economy remains strong.
“As we make decisions about our future in the coming weeks and months, it is vital that the UK is seen to be open for business and building the infrastructure it needs to compete,” he continued. “There are things we don’t yet know the answer to. Things still to work through.
“But the instructions we received from the British people were clear. And as we deliver those instructions we proceed with confidence. Confidence that our infrastructure is fit for the future. That our economy is fundamentally strong. And that business and government will pull together to deliver the best for Britain. It’s a winning formula. And it means that Britain is ready for the challenges of the future.”