Transport and Railways

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Birmingham

“The £1.1 billion to reduce congestion and upgrade local roads and transport, plus the £220 million to relieve 'pinch points' on motorways and A roads, are steps in the right direction.”

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On infrastructure, the Statement is broadly in line with expectations. The monetary amounts specified do not seem prima facie to be all that large, given the scale of the problems being addressed. But, these are of course in addition to amounts already committed for infrastructure purposes. So, with the money available for the new National Productivity Investment Fund, total capital spending on infrastructure, together with spending on housing and R&D, will come to £170 billion over the next five years. It seems more encouraging when viewed in aggregate.

The £1.1 billion to reduce congestion and upgrade local roads and transport, plus the £220 million to relieve 'pinch points' on motorways and A roads, are steps in the right direction. As is the £450 million to be spent on digital signalling technology, in an attempt to squeeze more capacity out of the existing rail network. But if road and rail traffic grow significantly faster than forecast—as indeed they might—the country might still be 'playing catch-up' in five years' time.

On the point regarding greater investment in linkages along the east-west axis, the development of an expressway between Oxford and Cambridge is to be warmly welcomed, but so too would have been more news of the longer-term project of reviving rail transport between these two cities, rehabilitating the old 'Varsity Line'.

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  • Syed Waliullah
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    1. At 5:30PM on 16 December 2016, Syed Waliullah wrote

    hi Pat,

    I am interested for a short course on Transport Economics mainly to cover appraisal. Do you offer anything similar to this? Would be interested to know the details if you do.

    Regards

    Syed Waliullah

    Consultant

    Transport Planning and Advisory

    CH2M

    Red Hill House | 227 London Road | Worcester | WR5 2JG | UK

    Tel: +44 1905 361361 | Fax: +44 1905 361362 | Email: syed.waliullah@ch2m.com

    www.ch2m.com

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