The Budget confirmed that with the ring fencing of Vehicle Excise Duty in a new National Roads Fund, the £15 billion for RIS1 will rise to £25.3 billion for RIS2. It remains to be seen whether the end of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes for road building, and the need for Highways England to make savings within RIS1, will curtail the most damaging and costly schemes already underway.
It is very disappointing that the Government has delayed publication of its long-awaited draft Air Quality Plan to tackle pollution in the UK. [Note: the Air Quality Plan has since been published; find out more - ed]
This was a real opportunity for the Government to address what has become a public health emergency, causing 44,000 early deaths a year and driving up incidences of cancer, asthma, stroke, heart disease, obesity and dementia.