Labour to mothball £320m A27 job to fix potholes

Aaron Morby 1 month ago
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Labour has confirmed it would can the £320m Arundel Bypass scheme in West Sussex to help fund its plan to accelerate the pothole-fixing programme nationally.

A consortium of Bam Nuttall, Aecom and Mace was awarded the project back in 2021, with the aim of starting construction last year, but the Government pushed the scheme back to RIS3 as part of a previous roads programme review.

Now Labout has confirmed it would defer the scheme further after branding it ‘poor value for money’.

The decision would save around £60m annually over the next five years which Labour said would be channeled into filling potholes.

In Labour’s Manifesto published yesterday, it said: “Labour will maintain and renew our road network, to ensure it serves drivers, cyclists and other road users, remains safe, and tackles congestion.

“We will fix an additional one million potholes across England in each year of the next parliament, funded by deferring the A27 bypass, which is poor value for money. ”

Among its other pledges Labour’s promise to build 1.5m new homes in England during the next five years, which would require a level of house building not seen since the 1960s.

An incoming Labour government would reverse the current administration’s changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and restore mandatory housing targets “immediately”.

It also pledged to build a new generation of new towns. Alongside urban extensions and regeneration projects, these would form part of a series of large-scale new communities across England.

Main points for construction


  • Immediately update the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • 1.5 million homes over the next parliament
  • Restore mandatory housing targets
  • Ensure local authorities have up to date local plans and strengthen the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
  • Brownfield first but accept it is not enough to meet our needs
  • Strategic greenbelt land designation and implement a greybelt land definition
  • Further devolution to local authorities and regions
  • Reform procurement rules to better favour SMEs
  • Set up Great British Energy as a publicly owned, clean power company
  • Maintain and renew road network, embedding public and active travel
  • Reform compulsory purchase compensation rules and improve land assembly
  • Create a mission driven new ‘Industrial Strategy’ and ‘Local Growth Plans’
  • National Wealth Fund, with private sector joint venture strategies
  • Support SMEs with action on late payment and easier access to capital
  • Transform Further Education colleges into specialist Technical Excellence Colleges

 
The National Federation of Builders welcomed the growth plan but called for more detail.

Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Policy and Market Insight at the NFB, said:“Labour appears to understand how damaging a broken planning system is for society, the economy and growth. For the construction industry this means businesses will finally be able to plan, rather than operate hand to mouth.

“However, we have been here before with Robert Jenrick MP’s, ‘Planning for the Future,’ white paper, which was shelved after the Conservative government lost a by-election and backbenchers revolted over land use.

“A fair regulatory environment will do more for business and the nations finances than any tax cuts because without an opportunity positive environment, growth and investment isn’t possible. In Labour, we might finally have a political party that is strong enough to accept that reality.”

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