Government fast tracks road and rail projects with £100bn spend

Guarantees for nuclear power plants, a commitment to the £42bn High Speed 2 rail line and a clutch of transport projects will form part of a £100bn plan to revamp Britain’s creaking infrastructure.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, will announce a programme of investment through to the end of the next Parliament aimed at halting the stop-start funding that has bedevilled UK spending on key transport, energy and telecoms infrastructure.

Bilforum:  They privatised our  railway and 17 out of 26 companies are in foreign hands,  and we now have the most expensive fares in Western Europe.  The railway gets 3x more in subsidises now then when it was state owned. These 17  foreign rail companies are over charging  the British people by as much as 10x for the same journey  in there own country. Our taxes and fares are allowing others in Europe to travel for less. HS2 will be the most expensive point to point rail line in Europe serving no one in between  London and Birmingham and so on. Which foreign buyer will pick this franchise up for a song, and UK tax payers subsiding the infrastructure as we do with the rest of the rail network.  


elliemaesgrandad: Which is why you went out and hired a car?

fwoggie: Bugger that, I'd have driven the short distance to Leeds Bradford and flown BA down to Heathrow, that would likely have been cheaper too.

alanpaul: Parts of the programme were hailed by Chancellor George Osborne as “the largest investment in our railways since the Victorian age.” It might be worth pointing out that it was not the Government that invested in railways in the Victorian age - it was private investment, not taxpayers' money at risk. Or to be more precise, borrowed taxpayers' money.

lacoste: alan: Whereas railways were a good investment in the Victorian age . . .   There are other strategic priorities in 2013:  Reliable, affordable energy (shale gas and nuclear);  A World class airport at Heathrow - with four runways.

Brimstone52:  Railways are still a good investment, people need to be able to get to the airport and the gas and nuclear fuels need to be moved safely and efficiently.

same_old_dog: Hoorah! Now, half a dozen very important businessmen can arrive in Birmingham 15 minutes earlier, although why anyone in their right mind would want to rush to that awful dump beats me.  Donkey Dave must be absolutely barking bonkers if he thinks this is a vote winner.

richardofbirmingham: HS2 is about linking first, the West Midlands and secondly, northern cities directly into the high speed continental system. There may be some spin off in respect of some trains stopping off in London but that will be seen as a secondary benefit by providing further capacity to the existing link.

dacorum: richardofbirmingham Don't be silly! When Spain built a high speed rail link from Madrid to Seville, that cut the journey time from 5-7 hours to just 2 hours. That didn't benefit Seville much at all but it helped to boost the Madrid economy.  It just made Madrid a greater magnet for business!   HS2 is a total white elephant for which there is no business case. Like HS1, it won't generate the passenger numbers expected and it won't boost Birmingham and the North

gamesinvestor: So let me get this right, we spend £100bn on projects that will have no economic impact for up to 10 years and the spend will  go mostly to foreign owned companies like EDF etc? Now that's going to make a difference to economic growth? No, it's nonsense and will just increase debt enormously.

zebedee: It will damage economic growth massively. There are plenty of rail projects that would make good economic sense, but these plonkers pick one that is a basket case. If they can't invest wisely, the money needs to be returned to taxpayers. Get rid of the wallies - vote UKIP.

ombzhch:  Just mend the Roads, and do it comnpetently before winter, and then clean the drains. Idiot Arseholes, MFG, omb

lacoste: Blair/ Brown allowed the nuclear industry to wither on the vine; Westinghouse is gone; now we must go cap in hand to EDF. We have no alternative. The lunacy of Ed Davey, Alex Salmond and the greenie religious fetishists will condemn the former UK to the status of: 'Formerly Developed Country'. For UK recovery, we need shale gas and nuclear power development urgently. Perhaps - as in wartime - this task should be given to the generals; as with D-Day, it's do or die for Britain. 

yoyoegg: HS2 is unaffordable, unwanted and the business case benefits are a pack of lies. All to satisfy an EU diktat UKIP all the way.

perdix: HS2 is nothing to do with the EU.  What is ukip policy on HS2? Do they now oppose it having previously favoured it?

Brimstone52:     "Do they now oppose it having previously favoured it?" When did UKIP ever support HS2?

burningbeardy: HS2 is an EU directive:

keithre: I know there are a lot of people in these comment sections who don't like the EU, however, you need to look at the facts. Mr Booker is somewhat disingenuous and few of you seem to bother looking at the detail. The EU has supported development of a strategic transport network to aid movement of people and goods. Given that we don't all live on islands some degree of c0-operation would be required to determine sensible transport corridors through two or more countries. Even in the UK we are on a through route to Ireland. If the EU was 'forcing' the UK to develop a new high speed line all I can say is they aren't making a very good fist of it. HS2 isn't part of any proposed network, especially given the 'Y' shape of the scheme which by the way wasn't the only option on the table. As for interoperability - if trains on our high speed network can run on to the continent it makes sense that they use the same systems. Reading may make you better informed.

elliemaesgrandad: UKIP does not, has not, favoured HS2 (an EU diktat).