1 December 2014
Campaign for Better Transport has responded to the publication of the first Roads Investment Strategy by the Department for Transport.
Sian Berry, Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said
"Government's plans for £30bn worth of big new roads ranks as one of the most counterproductive policy decisions for a generation. Badly flawed feasibility studies which ignored non-road alternatives have been used to justify damaging schemes, including several in our National Parks. Worse, the Government has given notice that its fixation with new tarmac will continue indefinitely with new studies into dualing the A66 and A69, an expressway between Oxford and Cambridge, and new London orbital outside the M25 and even a £6bn road tunnel under the Peak District. This is all happening while better, more sustainable, transport options like cycling and walking are not getting the investment they need, and buses are even seeing their funding being cut all over the country."
Schemes the Government has confirmed it intends to build include:
- Stonehenge tunnel
- A27 Arundel bypass in the South Downs National Park
- A number of road building plans in the Peak District National Park
- A47 Acle Straight in the Norfolk Broads
Schemes to be developed for the next Road Period include:
- A417 Air Balloon to Birdlip (Cotswolds)
- Lower Thames Crossing
- Major widening work on the A12 in Essex
- Northern Trans-Pennine - plans to dual one or both of A69 and A66
- Trans-Pennine tunnel - Potentially a £6bn link Manchester to Sheffield
- Manchester North-West Quadrant - consideration of different modes
- A1 East of England increasing M25 to Peterborough section to 3 lanes and looking at re-alignments
- Oxford - Cambridge expressway - creating a dual carriageway from M1 at Milton Keynes and the M40 near Oxford (doesn't say whether this would appropriate an existing road of be a new build)
- M25 South-West Quadrant - "provide alternative routes for traffic to relieve pressure on the M25"
Sian Berry said
"The Government's £15bn road building plan will prove a counterproductive waste of money. There is no evidence that building new roads creates jobs or benefits the economy and plenty of evidence that it creates new traffic that just fills up the roads again. What we really need is investment in public transport, walking and cycling for daily journeys to reduce congestion for other trips that have to be made on the roads. Instead, by laying tonnes of tarmac in areas supposedly protected for their beauty and history the government will end up making people more reliant than ever on cars."
Road Investment Strategy announcement and documents: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/biggest-upgrade-to-roads-in-a-generation