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‘Major Road’ investment programme must work for freight too

Mar 12, 2018
On 23 December, 2017 The Department for Transport released its consultation on the creation of a new Major Road Network (MRN). It has announced that key roads, below the motorway network and largest ‘A’ roads currently operated by Highways England, could benefit from up to £100m investment each.

While welcoming the news of additional investment, The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said that improvements to the road network must reflect the needs of the haulage industry, not just those of private motorists.

FTA’s Head of UK Policy, Christopher Snelling said, “Any investment in our road network is good news, especially given the lack of funding available over recent years for councils to improve just these kinds of roads. But the government must ensure that any projects funded by this scheme are designed for freight as well as car users. Above all, FTA believes any roads classed as part of the MRN must focus on making motor traffic more efficient and be open to all types of motor vehicle without restriction. There should be no HGV restrictions on anything that wants to claim to be a ‘Major Road’.”

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) also welcomed the announcement of additional funding. “The prospect of investment in the transport network to improve the flow of the goods and services we all rely on is good news,” said RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett. “Whilst major roads have often benefitted from investment, ‘A’ roads and local roads have been under-invested in for many years. This announcement is a positive step. The devil is in the detail and the RHA stands ready to assist government in ensuring that funding is granted to the improvements that are needed the most. “

Photo: Christopher Snelling

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