Transport: Cheshire

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:16 am on 5th June 2019.

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Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Minister of State (Department for Transport) 11:16 am, 5th June 2019

I will come to tolling in a moment, but it is a long-established principle that goes back to the 1930s that those roads and tunnels are tolled. Figures from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority show that in the three years to 2021, central Government’s planned transport capital investment per head for the north-west, the north-east, Yorkshire and Humber will be higher than for London, the south-east and the south-west. Each year we will invest an average of £248 per person in the north, compared with £236 per person in the south.

We are investing in a smart motorway from junctions 6 to 8 of the M56, which serves Manchester airport, and from junctions 21A to 26 of the M6, which links Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Those are important additions to other localised improvements such as tackling congestion on the A55, which I understand is a major factor, as well as at the Posthouse roundabout. Improvements at junction 8 of the M62 are designed to support the rapid and significant expansion of the Omega employment site, which now employs more than 5,000 people. In the 2018 Budget, the Government published their objectives for the second road investment strategy for 2020 to 2025, and we intend to make available £25.3 billion to further develop the strategic road network. My Department is developing an affordable, deliverable investment plan for that, which will be published in a few months.