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Osborne set to boost roads cash

Chancellor George Osborne is this week expected to boost transport funding while continuing to rein in other central government spending in his annual comprehensive spending review.

The Spending Round 2013, due to be unveiled tomorrow, is to set out how the government will spend £740bn of taxpayers’ money between April 2015 and April 2016. It will also detail how government intends to find savings of over £11bn.

Reports over the weekend suggested that Osborne would outline funding details for high profile infrastructure schemes including the A14 upgrade, High Speed 2 (HS2) and the £594M Mersey Gateway. Preferred bidder to design, build, operate and maintain the Mersey Gateway bridge was announced last week.

Site clearance and demolition work for the project is set to start later this year with construction proper due to start in 2014.

An announcement on the proportion of private finance that will be covered by the UK Guarantees scheme is also expected this week.

HS2 also remains on course to obtain Royal Assent for its hybrid bill in 2015. This will grant legal powers for construction of the £33bn railway but work is not set to start on site until 2017.

Roads funding is set to be one of the key areas to escape spending cuts as the government maintained its pro-roads stance.


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