York takes starring role as Chancellor launches £100 billion spending spree

30 Oct 2015 @ 9.04 am
| News, Transport

Chancellor George Osborne is in town today (Friday) and he has £100 billion to spend.

The money is earmarked for spending on new roads, rail, flood defences and other vital projects between now and 2020.

The Chancellor was due at the National Railway Museum to launch the National Infrastructure Commission.

That is headed up by Lord Adonis, the former Labour transport minister, and also includes Lord Heseltine, one-time minister in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet.

The commission will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament, offering recommendations for priority infrastructure projects.

One of its key areas is

northern connectivity, particularly identifying priorities for future investment in the North’s strategic transport infrastructure to improve connectivity between cities, especially east-west across the Pennines.

‘It’s about people’s lives’

The man with the money: George Osborne heads to the NRM. Photographs: HM Treasury / YorkMix
The man with the money: George Osborne. Photographs: HM Treasury / YorkMix

George Osborne said that infrastructure would be at the heart of his November spending review which is “about delivering security”.

He said:

Infrastructure isn’t some obscure concept – it’s about people’s lives, economic security and the sort of country we want to live in.

That’s why I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need.

Speaking after attending the visit Conservative Cllr Sam Lisle said the council was thrilled that the Chancellor chose York for the announcement “and that he recognised the historic significance of the city in our country’s rail industry”.

He said:

There are a number of key infrastructure issues in York that desperately require investment, from the northern ring road, to regional rail electrification, and the York Central teardrop site – which holds the key to the city’s future prosperity.

We hope that these vital local and regional infrastructure projects will receive the funding they need, and I believe the Chancellor’s statement today was very encouraging.