Roads are vital to people and to the economy, but they have suffered from a lack of investment, and we expect traffic to increase in the years to come. Yesterday, the Chancellor announced the largest programme of investment on our roads for half a century to tackle congestion and support growth. As my hon. Friend will know, since we came to power we have been working hard to minimise costs for hard-pressed families by keeping fuel duty down.
My hon. Friend will recall that I visited him in Harlow a few years ago and saw the scheme for myself. I know that there will be consultation on it over the summer, and that it is a priority for Essex county council. I do not think that I should prejudge the consultation, but, as he knows, I should be happy to meet him and his constituents to discuss the matter.
Will the Minister join me in congratulating Driver First Assist? It has provided great support for motorists, piloting work with the emergency services and the road haulage industry to promote crash-scene first aid and crash management skills among drivers. Will the Minister and the Secretary of State keep an eye out for an invitation to the national roll-out launch, which I believe is winging its way to their inboxes?
I am delighted to support that initiative, and I look forward to the invitation. Let me also congratulate the road haulage industry on the work it has been doing to make its drivers aware of the danger posed to cyclists by vehicles, and on its excellent work in upgrading the technology in a number of vehicles.