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CBI outlines ambitious vision for privately financed roads programme

Business lobby group the CBI has unveiled a bold vision to roll out a raft of privately financed road schemes that could help kick start the UK economy.

It has identified 16 schemes that could be delivered using finance, including two — widening of the A14 and A1 — that could be tolled.

The plans are part of the the CBI’s “Plan A plus”, a series of specific measures to kick-start growth by unlocking private sector investment and removing “road blocks”.

On roads, the CBI proposes:

  • Two road-tolling projects financed by the private sector — widening the A14 from Rugby to Felixstowe and improving the A1 in the North East.
  • Bringing ten publicly-funded road projects forward within the existing spending programme,to get shovels in the ground and ease congestion in transport networks. These include projects on the M25, M1 and M60.
  • Re-instating a further 14 major road projects delayed in the 2010 spending reviewto fill the gap created in the pipeline from 2013, analysing whether or not private sector investment could be used. These include projects on the M1, M6 and A38. A full list is attached.
  • Making infrastructure investment decisions more attractive by taking actions which do not add to the public purse. These include simplifying the planning regime, standing firm on the National Planning Policy Framework to unblock local investment, and simplifying the process for major infrastructure projects.Providing clarity to encourage investment in energy infrastructure on Electricity Market Reform, the Renewables Obligation and National Grid projects.

CBI’s list of road projects

Two road-tolling projects financed by the private sector

  • A14 (Road widening from Rugby to Felixstowe)
  • A1 (Improvements in the North East)

Ten publicly-funded road projects planned for delivery from 2013 to 2015 should be brought forward, for work to begin as soon as possible:

  • A11 (Road widening Barton Mills to Thetford, Norfolk)
  • A556 (Road improvement Knutsford to Bowdon, Manchester)
  • M1 J28 - J31 (Managed motorway with hard-shoulder running, Derbyshire)
  • M1 J32-J35a (Managed motorway with hard-shoulder running, Sheffield)
  • M1 J39 42 (Managed motorway with hard-shoulder running, Wakefield)
  • M25 J23 - J27 (Managed motorway with hard-shoulder running, Herts/Essex)
  • M25 J5 - J6/7 (Managed motorway with hard-shoulder running, Kent/Surrey)
  • M6 J5-J8 (Managed motorway with hard-shoulder running, Birmingham)
  • M60 J8-12 (Managed motorway with hard-shoulder running, Manchester)
  • M62 J18 - J20 (Managed motorway with hard-shoulder running, Manchester)


14 road projects delayed until post-2015 that could be brought forward to 2013-15, potentially using private finance:

  • A5-M1 Link Road (New link road)
  • A63 (Road improvement, Castle Street)
  • A160/A180 (Road improvement, Humberside)
  • A19/A1058 (Junction improvement)
  • A19 Testos (Road improvement)
  • A21 Tonbridge to Pembury (Road improvement, Kent)
  • A27 Chichester Bypass (New road)
  • A38 Derby Junctions (Junction improvements)
  • A45/46 Tollbar End (Road improvement)
  • A453 (Road widening, Nottingham to Junction 24 of the M1)
  • A14 Kettering Bypass (New bypass, Kettering)
  • M1 J19 (M6) (Road improvement to M1/M6 Junction)
  • M25 J30 (Junction improvement)
  • M6 J10a-13 (Road improvement)

Readers' comments (1)

  • John Mather

    Given the currently high cost of private finance, the pressure on the banks to rebuild their capital, the government's desire to reduce the deficit and the wide-spread and substantial opposition to pay tolls (in addition to road tax, fuel tax and VAT), it's probably best not to get too excited about this belated initiative. But I do hope someone is listening. The roads carry far more passengers and freight than the railways. We need an integrated transport policy.

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