Network North: highways maintenance funding increase
Redirected HS2 funding totalling £8.3 billion to support biggest-ever road resurfacing programme across England
I am pleased to inform the House that my Department last week published details of the very significant £8.3 billion extra funding for local road resurfacing, which will lead to a long-term, unprecedented transformation in the condition of our highways. Local highway authorities across England are set to benefit from the biggest-ever road resurfacing programme to improve local roads.
The funding is part of the Network North plan to improve journeys for all and provides long-term certainty to local authorities. In keeping with the Prime Minister’s commitment, all monies previously allocated for the North and Midlands will still be allocated there, with monies from savings at Euston being spent across England, with the funding broken down as follows:
- £3.3 billion for the North of England
- £2.2 billion for the Midlands
- £2.8 billion for East, South East (including London) and South West England
This funding is in addition to local transport funding from the last Spending Review and additional to what local transport authorities were expecting in future. Allocated across the next 11 years, it will represent a more than two-thirds increase in Department for Transport (DfT) support for local roads. Fifteen per cent of the funding will be allocated at a later date to allow a degree of flexibility over how best to support highway maintenance initiatives across England.
£150 million of the new funding is being made available in each of the financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25, with the lion’s share to follow over the remainder of the 11-year period. This provides time for local authorities and their supply chains to ramp up to deliver an increase in funding of this significance. Details of what each local highway authority will receive are published on GOV.UK.
To ensure that the funding delivers a transformational improvement in the condition of local roads and to allow a greater degree of public scrutiny over how it is spent, DfT is introducing new reporting requirements on local authorities. These include that all local authorities receiving this funding should:
- publish by March 2024 a summary of the additional resurfacing work they will deliver with the new funding over the next 2 years
- thereafter publish quarterly reports summarising what additional work they have done and which roads have been resurfaced
- publish later in 2024/25 a long-term plan for their use of the full 11-year funding and the transformation it will deliver
This is transformative funding, which directly demonstrates the benefits that will be felt right across England for all road users, who will enjoy smoother, faster and safer trips funded from the difficult but necessary decision to cancel HS2 Phase 2.