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NCE Live News Updates Thursday 24 October 2013: ACE research points to £12.2bn cost of roads underinvestment

A study suggests that underinvestment in roads could cause unnecessary costs of £27bn per year by 2040; meanwhile more of High Speed 2 (HS2) is to be tunnelled.

1pm: A key section of the HS2 high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham will be in a tunnel, the government has confirmed.

Part of the line in west London will run in a tunnel under Ealing and Northolt, with HS2 Ltd saying this will shave 15 months off the build timetable and considerably reduce disruption to residents and traffic.

11am: Persistent underinvestment in England’s road network could unnecessary costs of £27bn per year by 2040, according to a study the Association for Consultancy and Engineering.

The research paper suggests that problems such as the cost of repairing vehicles damaged by poor road surfaces, time lost in congestion, and the cost of petrol used in congestion has already contributed to a £12.2bn per year loss.

It goes on to suggest that either Vehicle Excise Duty be raised and hypothecated for use on roads investment and maintenance, or road pricing be introduced to help encourage more road use at less congested times while still raising finance for investment. Both options should be balanced by the equivalent reduction in fuel duty, it says. Read more here.

11am: Two roads schemes have been given the green light.

The third and final part of a major scheme to fix the Leeds Inner Relief Road will now go ahead after the Department for Transport approved £16M and an £8.3M scheme to improve the A452 Chester Road in Birmingham, near the M6, will also get underway.

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