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Road Investment Strategy 2

Volume 723: debated on Thursday 1 December 2022

8. What plans the commission has to consider the report from the National Audit Office on road investment strategy 2. (902568)

The National Audit Office’s report on road enhancements has recently been published and it is excellent. The Public Accounts Commission itself, in line with its statutory duty, has no plans to examine the report, but many of the NAO’s reports are taken up by the Public Accounts Committee and while, of course, it is a matter for the PAC to determine its own programme, I will draw the interest of my hon. Friend to the Chair of the PAC.

Delays to projects in road investment strategy 2 primarily because of development consent difficulties have meant that fewer road projects have been delivered than planned and at a higher cost. Should the commission study the report, may I urge my hon. Friend to examine the potential negative impact on the next road investment strategy—RIS 3—of future road projects being shelved because of hold-ups and cost pressures in RIS 2?

In its September 2020 delivery plan, National Highways expected that it would spend £5.5 billion in the third road strategy on projects approved since 2020. Since then, this has increased to £11.5 billion largely because of project and planning delays. Taxpayers may well feel scandalised that they are paying more money and getting fewer road enhancements. I know that my hon. Friend has a particular interest in the proposed junction 10a of the A14 east of Kettering and I urge him to consider pressing his case with Ministers as I know he was doing as recently as last week.