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17 February 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Road building companies have been urged to get ready for a “massive increase” in workload ahead of the road network’s biggest investment since the 1970s.
Roads minister Robert Goodwill called on firms to make sure suppliers are able to deal with the rise in demand. The government said suppliers may need to take on more apprenticeships, more graduate engineers and provide more training to "build and sustain the industry".
Goodwill said there are plans to spend £24 billion upgrading and improving the road network by 2021. The government said the long-term investment means suppliers can be confident to invest in equipment and skills.
The minister said: “We need to make sure everyone is ready to deliver the massive programme of investment that we need to keep Britain’s roads moving. To do that, we need to make sure we have the right people and equipment in place to deliver the 53 road schemes in preparation right now, plus the next generation of improvements over the next seven years.
“This means taking on more apprentices and making sure suppliers have the capacity to deal with the increase in demand. If we get this right, this will provide road users with a high performing network that can cope with the expected 43 per cent increase in traffic over the coming decades that will help boost economy growth and deliver more efficient roads for motorists.”