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I was pleased to see that transport infrastructure in the Midlands

was given a financial boost in the recent Budget.  The area will receive some £23 million to improve conditions.

The main thrust of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s speech was to improve the UK’s productivity growth.  He sees this as the only sustainable way to raise our current living standards.  Productivity is currently below the G7 average.

His two pronged attack to increase productivity is to invest heavily in training and infrastructure.  A key element of the Autumn Statement last November was the investment of £23 billion in infrastructure innovation.  This included £27 million to develop an expressway linking Cambridge and Oxford.

Hammond’s latest Budget has confirmed £90 million for the North and £23 million for the Midlands specifically to address pinch points on the national roads network.

The Department of Transport is expected to announce details of individual schemes in the near future.

Other infrastructure investment announcements included £270 million to ensure the UK stays at the forefront of technologies such as biotechnology, robotics and driver-less vehicles, £16 million for a new 5G technology hub and £200 million for local projects to improve full-fibre broadband networks.