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  • hammaad saghir

MPs urge the government to use road building budget for network upgrades to support net zero

The Transport Committee has cautioned that the administration's dependence on the speedy adoption of electric vehicles to make transport more eco-friendly without lowering demand is a 'hazardous strategy'.

The Transport Committee of Parliament has suggested that the government should allocate its tremendous budget for road construction to upgrade current infrastructure and repair potholes, as well as find ways to reduce the demand for driving.

A report by the Committee released yesterday cautioned that transport had become the UK's foremost source of greenhouse gases. However, the government is excessively relying on a quick transition to electric vehicles and zero emissions to decarbonize while neglecting to decrease the requirement for individual automobile use in the first place.

The document characterizes this as a "risky" tactic, as the DfT has projected that movement on the strategic road network will rise, and there is a high probability that the uptake of cleaner vehicles will not be fast enough to counterbalance this growth.

The government's resolution to meet the growing demand for new roads through investment without taking any steps to manage the demand was considered risky.

The government has allocated £27.4bn in its budget between now and 2025 for road construction and improvements, with a majority of the funding, £14bn, intended for road "enhancement" initiatives and the remaining allocated for new road construction.

The current report calls upon the government to redirect funds, initially intended for extending roads, towards the repair and renewal of the existing parts of the network. This, the report argues, would both meet the UK's climate objectives and enhance the state of the current roads.

The report highlights the necessity of both revenue funding and capital investment to ensure the upkeep and running of the strategic road network to satisfy the needs of its users.

The governing body needs to make sure to provide adequate resources for both expenses and capital upkeep. This money could be acquired by scrapping elaborate, pricey expansion schemes.

The Climate Change Committee has previously proposed that greater attention be devoted to diminishing the necessity for road users to curtail an increase in traffic and congestion, enhance air quality, and mitigate climate change.

Possible co-director Leo Murray declared that abiding by climate promises is impossible if the government proceeds with damaging road construction plans.

The Transport Committee has been urged to be cautious in constructing additional roads, particularly since we are having difficulty maintaining the roads we already have. Transportation professionals have echoed this idea that building more roads is not a feasible resolution to traffic problems for years. The immense funds designated for this disaster plan would be much more effective if utilized to reduce vehicle usage in cities by investing in active transportation and public transport.

In response to the Committee's report, the government declared their continued dedication to the upkeep and enhancement of roads nationwide.

In a statement, the Department for Transport (DfT) stated that the Road Investment Strategy significantly influences the roads and aids economic growth. A large sum of £24bn has been designated for RIS2 to ensure that the streets are dependable, secure and in good condition.


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