We have made significant progress in realising our ambitious plans for transport infrastructure, built on the investment of over £61 billion in the five-year period to 2021. We have taken big decisions on transformational projects like HS2 and our preferred option for a new runway at Heathrow, and are part way through delivering major investment programmes to maintain and upgrade our road and rail networks.
I am today publishing a Transport Investment Strategy, setting out how we will build on that progress and—through the investment decisions we go on to take—how we will respond realistically and pragmatically to today’s challenges and deliver a transport network that works for everyone.
The decisions we take now will shape the transport network for decades to come and help to determine the contribution that transport can make to our national success and wellbeing. The Transport Investment Strategy describes what we are trying to achieve through our investment in transport infrastructure, the priorities and propositions that will guide future investment decisions, the institutional frameworks within which those decisions will be taken, and the actions we are taking to help meet our ambitions.
I want our investment to create a more reliable, less congested and better connected transport network that works for the users that rely on it; to build a stronger, more balanced economy by enhancing productivity and responding to local growth priorities; to enhance our global competitiveness by making Britain a more attractive place to trade and invest; and to support the creation of new housing.
As we shape and deliver the balanced investment programmes that deliver these objectives, we will be guided by a set of priorities and propositions that put the needs of transport users at the heart of decision making, whilst getting the best value out of the network and our investment, retaining a resolute focus on delivery and remaining adaptable in the face of change.
As part of the strategy I am announcing my intention to launch a consultation on the creation of a new “Major Road Network” for the most important local authority A roads. This would mirror the success of the Strategic Road Network which has created planning and funding certainty for motorways and major dual carriageways, and would mean our most important local authority A roads were actively planned and managed to deliver a better service for drivers. As part of this consultation, we will make proposals to allocate a proportion of the national roads fund to the MRN.
I am also determined that, through our investment, we should go further in helping to raise prosperity and productivity across the country. In the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, the Government committed to taking account of the balance of spending per head between different regions. In addition, we will develop a new assessment standard that will require transport investment programmes to be judged on how they contribute towards the creation of a more balanced economy, as part of the assessment of their strategic case.
I have placed copies of the document in the Libraries of both Houses.