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            august 23, 2019

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KPMG cheers UK's massive national roads funding hike


International accounting giant KPMG welcomed the British Transport Ministry's budget with general satisfaction, saying it bode well for the country, reported the UK's Transport Times.
"The most eye-catching transport announcement in Philip Hammond's budget is clearly the increase in road investment," said KPMG head of UK transport Ed Thomas.
"The Road Investment Strategy2 will see GBP28.8 billion (US$37.5 billion) invested from 2021 to 2025, which is a step change from the GBP15.2 billion in the Road Investment Strategy1 programme announced in 2015."
"This will support business productivity and competitiveness by providing a safer and more resilient roads network. With trade high on the agenda, it is anticipated that a number of the schemes will improve access to airports and the ports, providing improved international gateways.
Mr Thomas also said the proposed Oxford-Cambridge expressway can also support new large-scale housing development in this strategic corridor, which is another of the government's infrastructure priorities.
"The roads lobby has long envied the relatively generous funding settlements provided by the rail sector's system of regulation.
"There still remains questions over roads funding in the long term. Fuel duties are anticipated to decline as the uptake of hybrid and electric vehicles increases.
"In rail, additional money was announced for the development of the east-west and Northern Powerhouse schemes, both of which have improvements in regional connectivity and productivity at their heart.
"However, there is major uncertainty over how these schemes will ultimately be funded with government having committed significant funds both to Network Rail's CP6 programme and the first phase of HS2 over the coming years. This uncertainty remains after today's budget," Mr Thomas said.

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