Come the infrastructure revolution… Sunak promises UK-wide commitment to levelling up
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The Chancellor promised an “infrastructure revolution” in his Autumn Budget speech, promising to spend £21bn on roads, £46bn on railways and £5.7bn London-style travel settlement plans for Liverpool, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and South Yorkshire. But HS2 remained absent with Sunak simply promising the long awaited Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) would be published soon.
He also promised £6.5bn on road upgrades, and £5bn for cycling and walking routes.
The announcement was part of a £1.7bn infrastructure commitment to levelling up that would, Rishi Sunak said, “benefit whole UK.”
He outlined investment in the Tate Liverpool and York Railways Museum, as well as cash for over 800 museums and libraries and a new Beatles attraction on Liverpool waterfront.
Sunak added: We have made the decision on whether to retrench or invest – and we are investing in a plan for growth that builds a stronger economy for the future.”
The Chancellor also announced changes to air passenger duty, saying that flights between airports in UK from April 2023 will subject to lower rate of air passenger duty, meaning that 9 million people see their duty cut by half. This would be a boost to regional airports, said Sunak, adding: “Airports are major regional employers, and that’s why we’re extend support for airports for a further six months.”