The Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, Martin Tett, has welcomed commitments from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement that, he said, would help stimulate Buckinghamshire’s growth and economy.
On the subject of roads Martin Tett said : ‘The £1.1 billion investment in relieving congestion is very welcome. However, it is vital that this money is invested fairly across the country and in particularly in areas such as Buckinghamshire which will see high levels of housing growth. We stand ready to work with the Government on schemes that can be got underway quickly to stimulate jobs and growth.‘
On East-West connections Martin said : ‘I’m delighted the Chancellor has recognised the value in investing in East West rail and the proposed new East West Expressway. These major transport projects will link Oxford to Cambridge via Milton Keynes. This area has the potential to become Britain’s high tech ‘silicon valley’.
The £100 million for East West Rail will help complete another section of this rail line. However, the proposed completion dates are far too far in the future. We need this line completed much sooner. We would urge the Government to bring forward plans for the entire route and commit to a completion by 2019/20 for the main section.
The £27 million for the Expressway will enable us to carry out design and feasibility work for this important new highway. As part of the transportation Alliance ‘England’s Economic Heartland’ we have nine local authorities and three LEPS united to helping deliver this scheme.‘
Regarding broadband Martin said ‘The £1 billion commitment towards digital improvements is very welcome, however, we need more detail about how it will be spent and which areas will benefit.
Broadband is an essential, not a luxury, and it’s vital that Buckinghamshire receives a fair share of this investment. I would urge Government to target those areas of the country that still don’t have high speed broadband. This includes many parts of Buckinghamshire particularly our most rural areas.
The County Council is ready to work with the Government to fill in the county’s digital gaps and upgrade to create a high speed broadband network fit for the 21st century.‘