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Government makes pre-announcements for Autumn Statement

03 Dec 2014

In advance of the Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled plans for increased spending on UK infrastructure.

The Thames Estuary was allocated £196 million, and the Humber Estuary £80 million, as part of a major project to improve over 1400 flood defence systems. The £2.3 billion total investment is intended to help prevent £30 billion of flood damages. In addition, £15.5 million will be spent on flood defences in Somerset, an area which took considerable damage during storms in recent years.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said: ‘We all saw the destruction and heartache caused by the flooding last year and that is why this investment is vital to build Britain’s defences for the future’.

£15 billion has also been set aside for new roads, in what the Government is calling a ‘roads revolution’ for England. The road improvement schemes will add 1,300 miles of extra lanes on motorways and A roads. Also included is a tunnel project to ease congestion and vehicle noise at Stonehenge, as well as improved junctions on the M25. The planned schemes feature in the first ever governmental Road Investment Strategy.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the plans, saying that roads were key to the nation’s prosperity. ‘Today I am setting out the biggest, bolder and most far-reaching roads programme for decades,’ he said. ‘It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain’s economic potential’.

The Government also confirmed Bicester as its second garden city, after the previously announced Northstowe location. Mr Alexander said: ‘New houses support economic growth and are a crucial element of a fair society, so I’ve prioritised investment of almost £2 billion to ensure we can build on average 55,000 new homes a year until 2020’.

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