Exclusive: Roads Minister denies disproportionate funding

14/10/2015
Highways Reporters

Roads Minister Andrew Jones has denied that the amount of money spent on the strategic road network and local roads is disproportionate.

In an exclusive interview with Highways Magazine, the MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough pointed out that there are a number of funding streams for local roads and that they should be considered as a collective.

Last year the government released details of a £15 billion Road Investment Strategy (RIS) to Parliament. It is investing in more than 100 new road schemes over this parliament and next, but with a lot of money being spent on the strategic road network, many people in the industry believe that local roads are suffering.

Mr Jones, who was appointed Roads Minister in May 2015, said: “There are several things going on with local highways. Firstly, we are giving them (local authorities) the tools, with significant funding, to deliver well maintained road networks. If you look at what’s happening there’s been greater investment in highways maintenance block than previously. We’ve also got the Local Growth Fund, the integrated transport block, local pinch point schemes and local sustainable transport schemes. There’s been a whole raft of different packages all about the local network. The word that connects all of them is local. It’s not a question that we’ve had one at the expense of the other.”

Some local authorities, including Surrey County Council, want money from the government’s new Roads Fund to be spent on local roads.

Earlier this year Chancellor George Osborne announced that from 2017 money raised from vehicle excise duty will be spent on roads. The small print of the Budget indicates that the new fund will only be spent on motorways and major A roads managed by Highways England, despite them accounting for just 100 miles of road in the country. Mr Jones confirmed that this is the case.

“We’re already allocating a significant amount of budget into local road schemes,” he added. “The Roads Fund is to tackle our strategic network. I’m open to the fact people need to work together, but I’ve just gone through a variety of budgets, and there is already significant money going into the local network.

“All the different funding should be looked at in aggregate instead of just looking at the Roads Fund and thinking ‘crikey that’s all going to the strategic network’. If you take the bigger picture you will see the two things working side by side to deliver improvements right across the country.

“We’ve got a very big job to do because we’ve under invested in the key strategic routes that are the arteries of our economy. We have to catch up on those and that’s what this Roads Fund is about.”

To hear the Minister’s thoughts on the government's Road Investment Strategy, the new Roads Fund, why he's not in favour of ringfencing money for local highways maintenance and the importance of scaling up – read the full exclusive interview in the October 2015 issue of Highways.

 
Highways jobs

Environmental Health Officer and Grad EHO – Private Sector Housing with benefits*

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £42,490
Exciting opportunity for a highly organised and enthusiastic Environment Health Officer or a newly qualified graduate working towards... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Director of Inclusive Growth and Public Sector Reform

West Midlands Combined Authority
£110,000
The role requires someone with a talent for innovation and a passion for designing and implementing public services. West Midlands Region
Recruiter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Vehicle Technician x3

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
All Candidates must hold a clean category C driving licence (CPC not required). Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Primary locations will include Clacton and Harlow only. Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part tim England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
£148,583
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recruiter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Head of Programme Management Office

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
As the Head of PMO, you will define and maintain standards for project management within the Highways Service. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Manchester City Council

Highways Development Specialist

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
Seeking a highly capable strategic leader to join the team to develop our strategic pipeline of works and financial model. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Manchester City Council

Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£214 per week
Are you looking to gain vital work experience as an Apprentice? London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Assistant Planner/Planner

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £32,878
The ideal candidate will already have... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
The successful candidate will... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recruiter: Liverpool City Council

Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety) & Environmental Health Technical Officer

Dacorum Borough Council
£24,710 to £39,034
You will be highly motivated and be expected to deliver against a challenging work plan. London (Greater)
Recruiter: Dacorum Borough Council

Director of Public Health

Worcestershire County Council
Competitive Salary
We’ll look to you to take responsibility for the high-calibre delivery of... Worcestershire
Recruiter: Worcestershire County Council

Street Cleansing Operative Driver (Large Goods Vehicles)

Redbridge London Borough Council
£22,377 to £23,607
We are looking to recruit staff for both our day service and evening service. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Street Works Officer

Enfield London Borough Council
£29,766 to £30,708
he Network Coordination Team are looking for an enthusiastic self-motivated person to join its Street Works Team. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Enfield London Borough Council

Traffic Management Group Manager

Devon County Council
£61,593
This is an exciting time for the Service with the immediate introduction of a new Permit scheme and significant programme of redesign and... Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Senior Technical Officer (Highway Assets & Infrastructure)

Newport City Council
£30,507 - £33,799 pa
The post holder will report directly to the Assets and Infrastructure Team Manager and will provide a technical lead on... Newport (Casnewydd)
Recruiter: Newport City Council

Principal Engineer (Highway Safety)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Highways Operations)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Highways Structures)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue
  • Highways England at Westminster
  • Traffex Scotland and Bridges Scotland guide
  • Highways Awards winners
View the latest issue

Latest Video