In today’s autumn statement Chancellor George Osbourne has announced that fuel duty will be frozen for the remainder of this parliament, ruling out a tax rise on petrol.
The news means that the average motorist will save £11 every time they fill up their tank, resulting in a total saving of £680 by 2015-16, the government claim.
It has also been revealed that £15bn will be spent on improving the capacity and condition of roads in the UK, tripling the current level of spending.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Chief Secretary presented the plans, entitled ‘Road Investment Strategy’, on Monday.
More than 13,000 new lane miles will be added via the scheme, with a focus on the A303 at Stonehenge and the single-lane sections of the A1.
Of the 100 projects within the scheme, the government claim that 84 are new and estimate that around 6200 construction jobs will be created during the scheme.
McLoughlin said the plan is ‘the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain’s economic potential.
‘Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity. For too long they have suffered from under-investment.
‘This government has a long-term plan to secure the country’s future and this £15bn roads programme is demonstration of that. Better roads allow us to travel freely, creating jobs and opportunities, benefiting hardworking families across the country.’
The A303 and A358 to the south west will be made entirely dual carriageway and a tunnel will be built under Stonehenge, totalling around £2bn. After these changes, drivers will be able to drive on a dual carriageway from London to within 15 miles of Land’s End.
Around £390m will be pumped into completing the dualling of the A1 from London to Ellingham, and the entire length of the M62 from Manchester to Leeds will become a ‘smart motorway’, making the hard shoulder a traffic lane.
£350m will be spent in the south east on the A27 in the hope of easing congestion at Arundel, Worthing and Lewes.
A further £300m will go on upgrading the east-west connection to Norfolk by dualling parts of the A47 and improving its connections to the A1 and A11.