New Roads Minister
You may have noticed the Department for Transport has a new minister Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister of State who will be responsible for Highways Agency roads and the UK’s maritime and shipping brief.
Among his other responsibilities as Minister of State at the Department for Transport, John Hayes will take the lead in ensuring the UK’s maritime and shipping industry continues to flourish and compete on a global level, and that the sector invests in the seafarers of the future. That means ensuring fair competition, and driving through proportionate regulation where necessary. The UK’s ports are crucial gateways, allowing our exports to reach foreign markets and getting goods into British shops and raw materials into British factories. The Minister will be playing an active role in ensuring that the UK continues to be a world leader in the maritime sector.
Alongside the Maritime and Shipping brief, John Hayes will drive forward the Government’s Infrastructure Bill, legislation which will transform how we fund, plan, manage and maintain our national infrastructure. In particular, he will oversee the radical reform of the Highways Agency which operates, maintains and carries out improvements to more than 4,300 miles of motorways and major A-roads, carrying a third of all traffic, throughout England. As well as saving the taxpayer at least £2.6 billion over the next 10 years and making the organisation more accountable to Parliament and road users, he will also take forward the government’s biggest road building programme since the 1970s. The changes will deliver a smarter, more efficient road network for road users that will help to address the effects of past underinvestment.
Over the next 15 years, £50 billion will be spent on our roads to increase capacity, ease congestion, and resurface 80% of our motorways and major roads. The reform of the Highways Agency will also underpin the means by which £24 billion will be invested by the Government in England’s motorways and major roads up to 2021. These long-term changes will bring an end to the short-term thinking that has blighted investment in England’s roads and make sure they are fit for the 21 century – supporting jobs and growth across the economy.