PM Truss promises faster road building

06/09/2022
Dominic Browne

Prime minister Liz Truss twice pledged to build new roads in her maiden speech as UK leader.

Emphasising infrastructure investment as a key part of her three-pronged plan to help steer the country through its current troubles, Ms Truss highlighted faster road building as a priority.

Faced with a series of mounting crises, including rampant inflation, slow growth and precarious energy supplies, Ms Truss said: 'Now is the time to tackle the issues that are holding Britain back. We need to build roads, homes and broadband faster. We need more investment and great jobs in every town and city in the country.'

Outlining a set of three 'early priorities' the new prime minister, appointed by the Queen today, promised to deliver on the economy, energy and the NHS.

'I have a bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform. I will cut taxes to reward hard work and boost business-led growth and investment. I will drive reform in my mission to get the United Kingdom working, building and growing.

'We will get spades in the ground to make sure people are not facing unaffordable energy bills and we will also make sure that we are building hospitals, schools, roads and broadband.'

Ms Truss also pledged to tackle the energy crisis - reportedly her plan includes more than £100bn to deal with 'energy bills and to secure our future energy supply' - and promised action on NHS waiting times.

The next road investment strategy for the strategic road network - where the majority of road spending is focused - is entering its 'decision phase' (2023 to 2024).

Ms Truss appears to have already ruled out an early election - stressing her hopes of winning 'in 2024' - and so her government will play a key role in shaping the next RIS.

In 2021, the Department for Transport identified 32 projects that National Highways should develop for funding consideration in RIS3. One of these, the A21 Safety Package has already started, while a number of schemes in the current RIS have been pushed back, National Highways confirmed in its latest delivery plan.

The next steps include the DfT publishing a draft RIS 3 for consultation before the final publication and National Highways’ Strategic Business Plan. The process will then move into the mobilisation phase in 2024-2025.

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