July 18 2013.

The government has announced plans to end short-term thinking on investment in UK roads and says a package of reforms represent the biggest ever upgrade of the existing road network.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said £28 billion in funding for building, maintenance and repair would be supported by legislation so that it could not be reversed by future governments.

He said the Highways Agency would also be transformed into a publically-owned body with six-year funding cycles so a more integrated and structured approach could be adopted.

"Our major roads are vital to the prosperity of our nation, connecting people to jobs and businesses to markets. They carry a third of all traffic and two thirds of all freight traffic but in recent decades we have failed to invest properly in them.

"Today's changes will bring an end to the short-term thinking that has blighted investment in England's roads so that we can deliver the infrastructure our economy needs. Back by the government's £28 billion commitment, they will give us a road network fit for the 21st century and beyond."

The £28 billion investment was outlined in the recent spending round announced by the chancellor and, as well as road building projects, £12 billion is allocated to repair and maintenance with budgets set aside for resurfacing trunk and motorway routes by 2020, and tackling the pothole backlog.

The Department for Transport will consult on the proposals to pull together a five-year building plan and ten-year project development schedule this autumn.

To read the 80-page Action for Roads paper, CLICK HERE.