Ed Thomas, Head of Transport at KPMG UK, comments on Levelling-up with road and rail infrastructure.
“Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcements will of course be welcomed by the transport industry with transport infrastructure spending pledges interspersed throughout the budget – from the £27bn road programme to £1bn on green transport initiatives and the £2.5bn fund to repair potholes.
“In terms of the levelling-up agenda the most eye-catching initiatives were the £4.2bn earmarked for mayoral city regions; and the new deal announced for West Yorkshire. These commitments signal a much-need revival of the devolution agenda, which became a sideshow during the Brexit debate. The launch of the “Green Book” review could also have important implications for how investment is spread across the country – with less focus on London and the south east.
“However, if we are to truly “get things done” this isn’t achieved by spending announcements alone. City Regions and Combined Authorities also need the skills and capacity to design, procure and deliver local transport programmes. This has to be a key consideration for the comprehensive spending review later in the year with urgent funding needed to build these capabilities.”
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