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Government to rethink £27bn road building strategy because of ‘changes to travel’ after Covid
Move away from commuting ‘unlikely to be fully reversed’ after crisis, says transport secretary
Boris Johnson’s government will review its £27bn roads investment plan because of “fundamental” changes in travel patterns brought on by the Covid pandemic, the transport secretary has announced.
Grant Shapps said it was right to look again at the strategy to expand the road network – arguing that the rise in homeworking and online shopping was unlikely to be “fully reversed” even as the economy recovers from lockdowns.
“In the last eighteen months, fundamental changes have occurred in commuting, shopping, and business travel,” the minister said in a written statement on Thursday.
Mr Shapps added: “Trends already underway in homeworking, online shopping, and videoconferencing, all of which had reduced trip rates even before the pandemic, have dramatically increased, and seem unlikely to be fully reversed.”
The government will now review its national policy statement (NPS) for major road schemes “in the light” of these trends in commuting and shopping, said Mr Shapps. …
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