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Goodwill talks road investment


Posted on 31/10/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

Robert Goodwill, the roads minister, has been talking about the government’s commitment to an exceptionally large roads investment, and plans for Highways Agency changes – both of which could impact people in road-based logistics jobs.

He said that the government had made a commitment to a bigger road network investment than has previously been seen, which is worth £50 billion in the coming decade and a half.

It had to ensure this was well spent, he added, and though it’s possible to make efficiency savings, in order to make these secure it is necessary to alter the way trunk roads and motorways are maintained and managed.

“Transforming the Highways Agency into a government-owned company means long-term savings for the taxpayer, and making sure our roads are fit for the 21st century – supporting jobs and growth across the economy,” he added.

The minister said he had a desire for motorists to be able to have more say when it comes to how roads are run.

“That is why I have proposed an independent watchdog – free from government – is set up to make sure the Highways Agency is delivering the wants, needs and expectations of motorists,” he added.

A consultation about proposals for the Highways Agency to be made into a company that is owned by the government has been launched.

The Department for Transport claims doing this to the the agency will bring up efficiency and mean that running costs are lower.

It has been forecast that taxpayers would save some £2.6 billion at the least during the forthcoming ten years due to the move.

Meanwhile, changes to the development, maintenance and operation of trunk roads and motorways are set to see a reflection in a freshly created watchdog to mirror motorists’ opinions better, the DfT says.

The watchdog is going to encourage more transparency from the Highways Agency, it claims.

The consultation started October 29th and seeks public opinion about the way it’s been proposed the Highways Agency should be made accountable and structured, and the running of the watchdog, as well as a performance-monitoring body focused on the agency’s work. This consultation is set to come to an end December 20th this year.

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