18 December 2018

Responding to the Government guidance regarding the Major Road Network, Mayor Dave Hodgson, chair of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum, said: "There is much in this announcement to welcome, including the role that sub-national transport bodies such as England's Economic Heartland will play in setting out regional investment priorities.

"Our work on the MRN investment pipeline is already underway and will be a key part of our draft Transport Strategy to be published in summer 2019.  We will ensure that investment not only unlocks economic growth, but also improves the lives of our existing communities and results in 'net gain' for the environment as we work towards a zero carbon transport system by 2050. To enable this, it is crucial that Government continues to invest in our capacity to take forward this work.

"Equally, the MRN will only make a difference if Government commits to funding it.

"We are still awaiting news on whether our two proposals for 'early entry' into the investment programme – improving capacity on the A414 in Hertfordshire and dualling of the Eastern Link Road in Aylesbury – will be taken forward.

"This is despite funding announcements for MRN schemes elsewhere in the country having already taken place – and amid the continued delay in the much-needed A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme.

"We need Government to give confidence to local communities and potential investors that rhetoric will be backed up by hard cash."