Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, has set out major new plans for investment alongside further measures to tackle the housing crisis.
In his speech at Conservative Party Conference today, he laid out plans for fibre broadband, roads, and buses to supercharge infrastructure all over the UK.
When we get Brexit done, we will have a powerful Conservative housing and infrastructure policy that delivers a boost to our economy and helps more to realise the dream of owning their own home.
What the Chancellor has announced today:
Today, the Chancellor set out his £29bn delivery plan to upgrade key roads over the next five years – strategic and local roads up and down the United Kingdom. That includes money to improve the M60 Simister Island in Manchester to tackle delays, to start construction on the A428 to improve journeys between Cambridge and Milton Keynes, and a litany of other road-building projects.
In addition, Sajid Javid announced an ambitious National Bus Strategy to to transform bus services across England.
The Strategy will be funded by the £220 million announced in the Spending Review, with half of that funding going towards additional bus services. It will also give local authorities who want to create London-style franchised services in their areas more powers and support to do so.
We’re creating the first ever all-electric bus town
This plan includes the creation of Britain’s first ever all-electric bus town to help deliver more eco-friendly and better value for money for passengers. We’ll make £50 million available for this project, and we have already invested around £150 million to replace and upgrade the bus fleet.
This will result in more than 1,300 low emission buses on our roads, as well as an extra 263 zero emission buses on the way.
We’re also launching new low-fare, high-frequency ‘superbus’ networks, allowing passengers more choice and lower prices. We will give local authorities the power to partner with bus companies to create new superbus networks. In exchange for the local authority investing more in bus lanes, bus operators will run more services, at a lower cost.
The first superbus network will be launched in Cornwall next year, with fares starting from just £1.
We’re investing in our existing infrastructure too
We recognise that many bus services are absolutely vital for connecting communities, especially in rural areas. Sometimes they are not commercially viable, but they often provide an enormous social good and we would be worse off as a society if we lost them.
That’s why we’re spending an additional £30 million to improve existing routes and restore lost services, making sure that no community is left behind or cut off. We’ve already made £250 million available to support these and will now spend an additional £30 million in 2020-21 to improve current services, or restore lost ones.
Our policy will help support our existing housing policy to give people across the United Kingdom access to the infrastructure, buses, and broadband they need to use the internet at home and run productive businesses.