Northeast starved of infra cash

This article was taken from The Construction Index and can be read in full by clicking the following link.

Contractors in the northeast of England say that they cannot understand why they have been so badly treated in the latest government spending round.

£11.8m out of £215m for England as a whole, or less than 6%. The allocation has angered contractors in the region.

Latest funding allocations by the Department for Transport (DfT), in support of highways maintenance, show the northeast region can expect a maximum of only

Peter Samuel, construction director at major regional contractor Owen Pugh, said: “The support being offered for road upkeep here is paltry. There is no reasonable explanation why the northeast figure is approximately half that of the next lowest areas. London and the southeast are to receive over 21% of the total, and the southwest, whose needs I would have thought similar to the northeast’s, is to receive more than three times as much at £36.4m.”

Nationally, £203m has been allocated to highway maintenance until 2015, which is just 60% of the £333m that the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association (CECA) says the country requires.

CECA northeast region director Douglas Kell said: “The northeast certainly hasn’t been allotted a fair share, let alone 60% of its need. Yet this region’s construction and civil engineering industry has been harder hit than anywhere else in the country since the onset of the nation’s financial crisis.”

Major road projects in the northeast are also moving forward only slowly.

Funding of £150m for the Morpeth northern bypass and a new road bridge in Sunderland city centre was approved 13 months ago but site work on the bypass is not expected to start before January 2015 and no contractor has been selected yet.

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