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Tories reveal £25bn roads funding after £2.7bn hospitals pledge

The chancellor will pledge £25bn in funding for the UK’s roads, a day after the health secretary promised a £2.7bn investment in Britain’s hospitals.

In his speech at the Tory conference in Manchester later today, Sajid Javid will outline the government’s intentions to invest £25bn in the UK’s strategic roads network between 2020 and 2025.

This will include the completion of the A46 Newark Bypass, a route highlighted by local campaigners for east to west transport, and the dualling of the A66 Trans-Pennine expressway between North Yorkshire and Cumbria, as well as beginning construction on the A428.

Asked by Sky News on which of the announcements were actually new ahead of his speech, Mr Javid said they were “all new, in a way”.

Responding to the announcement, Liz Jenkins, partner at construction legal specialists Clyde & Co said:  “This investment package appears to be primarily focused on voters, less so the construction industry, as there is still last month’s delay to HS2 fresh in people’s minds, plus the industry still needs a pipeline of projects with long-term viability, especially with the uncertainty of Brexit on the horizon.”

Speaking at the same conference on Sunday, health secretary Matt Hancock announced that the government would invest £2.7bn in six hospitals over the next five years, as part of an overall pot of £13bn for hospitals.

A further 34 hospitals will receive £100m in initial funding to start developing projects, including those in Cambridge, Nottingham and Manchester.

Mr Hancock said: “If you’re sitting in a down-at-heel hospital like the Princess Alexandra in Harlow or the North Manchester General, where I was yesterday, and there’s not enough space to do the job properly and the roof is leaking, know this: We won’t just fix the roof. We’re going to build you a whole new hospital. Over the next decade we will build, not 10, not 20, but 40 new state-of-the-art hospitals.”

Earlier this month, Sajid Javid promised an “infrastructure revolution” in his 2019 spending round.

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