Covid Road Cutbacks?

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SteveA30
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Covid Road Cutbacks?

Post by SteveA30 » Sun May 09, 2021 10:58

Don't know their sources, but I can well believe the Treasury are itching to ditch projects to save money. Road, rail and airports. The latter seems the most vulnerable, with road second and the environmentally friendly rail third in the cutbacks lottery.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57010913
Last edited by SteveA30 on Wed May 12, 2021 14:15, edited 1 time in total.
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c2R
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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by c2R » Sun May 09, 2021 11:54

It's a difficult one, as infrastructure projects themselves provide employment and economic stimulus (according to many economic theories), and also improve future growth as the asset has been built and exists. There is also the trickle down effect of the people that are employed themselves spending money. Obviously, it's not a good idea in economic terms to simply borrow masses of money on an ongoing basis to build stuff that is unused (cf Spain's unused airports and dead end motorways), but I would argue that cancelling infrastructure projects in the short term to save money coming out of the pandemic is a bad idea, particularly if it causes higher spending on benefits and reduces the rate of economic growth as a result.
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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by roadtester » Sun May 09, 2021 11:59

c2R wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:54
It's a difficult one, as infrastructure projects themselves provide employment and economic stimulus (according to many economic theories), and also improve future growth as the asset has been built and exists. There is also the trickle down effect of the people that are employed themselves spending money. Obviously, it's not a good idea in economic terms to simply borrow masses of money on an ongoing basis to build stuff that is unused (cf Spain's unused airports and dead end motorways), but I would argue that cancelling infrastructure projects in the short term to save money coming out of the pandemic is a bad idea, particularly if it causes higher spending on benefits and reduces the rate of economic growth as a result.
Yes - I think the UK’s situation is different to Spain’s. Most of the projects in our pipeline are still to do with fixing quite significant bottlenecks or black spots. We’re mostly not so over-invested in roads or rail that we have reached the stage of contemplating “nice to have” projects or pork barrel “bridge to nowhere” stuff.
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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by Bomag » Sun May 09, 2021 13:28

Traffic on a large percentage of the England trunk road network is now at the notional capacity for some of the day, not necessarily for as long or at the same times as before COVID. Anything in RIS 2 should be safe and so should most Expressways given the speeding up of freight. With the review of the SMP some of the ALR schemes may be put back.

Most HE schemes now on site have not been delayed or increased in cost due to COVID; HS2 and crossrail are not doing rail any favours (well very few are).

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Jim606
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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by Jim606 » Sun May 09, 2021 14:35

There is also the upcoming judicial review for the Stonehenge tunnel at the end of June. Could Covid kick this one into the long grass, especially as the minister overrode the Planning Inspectorate's original decision? Although having said that, the scheme is pretty well advanced?

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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by bart » Mon May 10, 2021 19:49

Jim606 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 14:35
There is also the upcoming judicial review for the Stonehenge tunnel at the end of June. Could Covid kick this one into the long grass, especially as the minister overrode the Planning Inspectorate's original decision? Although having said that, the scheme is pretty well advanced?
I think that's likely to go ahead. As you say, it's already advanced, and I think the schemes that will be axed are those that alleviate rush-hour jams, because there will be less commuting that there was before the pandemic, when people realized that working from home was possible and better (for some people).

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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by Truvelo » Mon May 10, 2021 19:57

bart wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 19:49
...and I think the schemes that will be axed are those that alleviate rush-hour jams, because there will be less commuting that there was before the pandemic, when people realized that working from home was possible and better (for some people).
Which unfortunately means things like the A38 Derby Junctions being at risk as the congestion at the roundabouts occurs during the rush hour.
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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by fras » Mon May 10, 2021 22:23

roadtester wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:59
c2R wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 11:54
It's a difficult one, as infrastructure projects themselves provide employment and economic stimulus (according to many economic theories), and also improve future growth as the asset has been built and exists. There is also the trickle down effect of the people that are employed themselves spending money. Obviously, it's not a good idea in economic terms to simply borrow masses of money on an ongoing basis to build stuff that is unused (cf Spain's unused airports and dead end motorways), but I would argue that cancelling infrastructure projects in the short term to save money coming out of the pandemic is a bad idea, particularly if it causes higher spending on benefits and reduces the rate of economic growth as a result.
Yes - I think the UK’s situation is different to Spain’s. Most of the projects in our pipeline are still to do with fixing quite significant bottlenecks or black spots. We’re mostly not so over-invested in roads or rail that we have reached the stage of contemplating “nice to have” projects or pork barrel “bridge to nowhere” stuff.
Well, the ultimate UK "pork barrel" bridge to nowhere is up in the North West ! I refer to the bridge over the Dee on the A548, of course. A beautiful bridge, and dual-carriageway at NSL too.
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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by orudge » Tue May 11, 2021 11:08

fras wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 22:23
Well, the ultimate UK "pork barrel" bridge to nowhere is up in the North West ! I refer to the bridge over the Dee on the A548, of course. A beautiful bridge, and dual-carriageway at NSL too.
Of course, the intention is for this bridge to be used as the main route into North Wales as part of the A494/A548/A55 project, following the cancellation 14 years ago now(!) of the original widening scheme along Aston Hill.

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Re: Covid Cutbacks?

Post by KeithW » Tue May 11, 2021 11:47

bart wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 19:49
I think that's likely to go ahead. As you say, it's already advanced, and I think the schemes that will be axed are those that alleviate rush-hour jams, because there will be less commuting that there was before the pandemic, when people realized that working from home was possible and better (for some people).
That said the widening of the A19 between the Tees Viaduct and Wolviston which is notorious for its rush hour jams is well ahead of schedule as they were able to make fast progress during the lockdowns. They have even implemented overnight shutdowns sending people along the old roads over the Newport bridge and along the original Billingham bypass (ex A1130, Bypass Road and Wolviston Road) It was quite nostalgic going that way after 40 years of using the A19. Was over that way yesterday and the traffic levels seemed to be pretty much the same as preCovid

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