England's Economic Heartland Chair, Cllr Liz Leffman, reflected on the Autumn Statement delivered today in government.
Cllr Leffman said: 'Today’s Autumn Statement places significant emphasis on science and technology-led economic growth, which our region has a pivotal role in delivering.
Last month commitments were made by government around the delivery of Ely Junction and several major road network schemes across the region. Given their importance, it is crucial major infrastructure such as Ely and East West Rail, and improvements to our strategic roads and mass transit, are delivered at pace.
The sooner we have East West Rail, delivered in full and including superb door-to-door connectivity, the sooner we can transform opportunities for our residents, businesses and global investors. The sooner we boost rail freight capacity at Ely, the sooner 100,000 lorries are removed from our roads, relieving congestion and reducing emissions. Without their timely arrival, our region will not be able to maintain its global competitiveness and deliver its potential for the UK economy.
But it is not just about physical infrastructure. We will continue to advise government of the policy changes we believe would improve the UK’s transport system. For example, local authorities in our region would greatly benefit from the longer-term funding settlements which have been given to councils in the Midlands and North. And we believe all local transport authorities and groupings of authorities should have ability, if they wish, to franchise bus services.
We look forward to continuing to work with government and its agencies to deliver a world class transport system for a world class region, to the benefit of our communities, businesses and UK as a whole.'