Press release

CBI Annual Conference 2014: Prime Minister’s address

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

David Cameron will set out the government's new long-term investment plan into the road network in his speech to the CBI Annual Conference 2014.

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP

Addressing business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual conference in London today, the Prime Minister will set out how the government will unveil the first ever long-term Roads Investment Strategy for the government’s long-term economic plan, and these proposals will see investment in over 100 projects on the Strategic Road Network by the end of the decade, and result in hundreds of extra lane miles on our motorways and trunk roads.

By improving the condition of our roads, increasing the capacity of existing roads and taking forward major new strategic road schemes, the UK’s first ever long-term Roads Investment Strategy will be designed to improve the lives of hardworking commuters, back business and enterprise all across the country, and help secure a better future for Britain.

The Prime Minister is expected to say:

Our long-term economic plan is turning Britain round. And nowhere is this better demonstrated than in what we are doing on infrastructure. We inherited a huge budget deficit and frankly, as we went about finding savings, it would have been easy for us to cancel Crossrail, cancel HS2, cancel projects that were politically controversial. But we didn’t. We know to secure Britain’s future, we need world-class infrastructure. Families need it to get around; businesses need it to create jobs; we need it to compete with the world and deliver economic security. So whenever we have been faced with the choice between the past and the future, we have always chosen the future. Not just HS2 and Crossrail; but HS3, the biggest investment in our railways since the Victorian time, a new nuclear power station and tapping shale gas – we have always chosen the future.

And I can tell you this today: in three weeks’ time you will see an Autumn Statement where we choose the future again. At its heart is the biggest, boldest and most far reaching road improvement programme in four decades: over 100 improvements to our major roads. Hundreds of extra lane miles on our motorways and trunk roads. The green light given to major projects that have been stalled for years. Action to improve some of the most important arteries in our country – like the A303 and the A1 – which for too long have held parts of our country back. And all underpinned by over £15bn worth of investment.

This will be nothing less than a roads revolution – one which will lead to quicker journey times, more jobs, and businesses boosted right across the country.

And let me add this: we’re the only ones who can afford to do this because we have taken difficult decisions on spending elsewhere. We’re the only ones who have the guts to deliver it because when it comes to the big infrastructure decisions our country needs, we have shown we always take them. And we’re the ones with the vision and optimism to make it happen it, because whenever we have been faced with choosing the past or the future, we have always chosen the future. So with this Autumn Statement we will continue what we’ve done for four years: taking action today to secure a better tomorrow. That’s what our long-term economic plan is all about – and that is what is turning Britain around.

As part of the biggest programme of investment in our road network for decades, this government will take action and fund solutions to tackle some of the most notorious and longstanding problems on our road network across the country. This includes improvements to:

  • A303 to the south west
  • A1 north of Newcastle
  • A1 Newcastle-Gateshead western bypass
  • Trans-Pennine roads in the north of England
  • A47 in the east of England
  • A27 on the south coast

Notes to editors:

The Government’s £15 billion investment over the next Parliament (between 2015/16 to 2020/21) is the biggest upgrade to our roads in a generation. This means that over this Parliament and the next, we will have spent over £24bn on our nation’s major roads.

We are reforming the Highways Agency into a world class infrastructure company, and providing it with the funding certainty needed to give the supply chain real confidence. These reforms will be underpinned by new legislation, as part of the Infrastructure Bill, currently going through the Houses of Parliament.

Published 10 November 2014