Autumn Statement 2016: There will be an extra £1.1bn invested in English transport networks says chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement

 
Billy Bambrough
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Roads and railways were expected to play a big part in Hammond's Autumn Statement
Roads and railways were expected to play a big part in Hammond's Autumn Statement (Source: Getty)

As part of his £23bn to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over five years the chancellor Philip Hammond has announced there will be an extra £1.1bn invested in English transport networks, "where small investments can often achieve big wins".

Some of this will go on rail. Hammond said the transport secretary will set out more details over the coming weeks.

In a jab at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Hammond said it was something he would welcome, referring to Corbyn's ill fated attempt to get a seat on a Virgin train earlier this year.

Liz Jenkins, infrastructure Partner at Clyde & Co, said:

The increase in government spending on infrastructure is very welcome and much needed but a pipe line of projects is just a pipe dream until construction takes place. The government needs to speed up decision making if it is serious about driving forward the UK's infrastructure.

The chancellor Philip Hammond says he has written to the National Infrastructure Commission asking for proposals for spending over the next decade.

The government said it will commit to spending between one and 1.2 per cent of the UK's gross domestic product (GDP) from 2020 on economic infrastructure.

According to Hammond the government is currently spending 0.8 per cent now.

Hammond had previously signalled that fiscal stimulus in the Autumn Statement will be concentrated on the UK's roads and railways.

The Treasury already set aside £1.3bn to tackle congestion as part of an expected £5bn stimulus package focused on Britain's roads and railways.

Spending more on targeted infrastructure projects is expected to boost growth and raise living standards, however Hammond has pledged to stick to clear guidelines when choosing infrastructure investments, taken by some as a thinly veiled jibe at former Labour chancellor and prime minister Gordon Brown.

Speaking to reporters in Washington in October, he said:

When I say investment, I do mean investment. I don’t mean spending in the way some previous chancellors have used the word. I will be looking for investment in the sense that a businessman can understand the word.

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