- By Region
A list of “top priority” infrastructure schemes are set to be announced on Monday, with schemes in rail, roads, energy and broadband.
Nick Clegg promised two months ago to unveil the list of projects with “special priority status” and others have since been added.
Among the transport projects – on some of which preliminary work has already begun – are improvements to the M25 and M1 motorways.
Rail capital spending emerged from last year’s spending review with only shallow cuts because of George Osborne’s belief in the capacity for train projects to deliver economic growth.
The rail schemes will include the electrification of the Great Western line and the £16bn Crossrail project which will connect west and east London.
New transport secretary Justine Greening is expected to approve the London-Birmingham leg of a new high-speed rail link within weeks.
Ministers face a dilemma over whether to approve private toll roads – such as on the A14 – which would raise private money but could face a motorists’ backlash
Boris Johnson’s vision of a new airport in the Thames Estuary would depend heavily on investment by sovereign wealth funds and other private investors.
Energy provision is mainly from the private sector while the state’s role is to provide a stable investment climate and – in the case of renewables – subsidies of various kinds.
Other projects close to being delivered are the Switch Island link road in Merseyside and the Tyne and Wear Metro as well as station improvements at Birmingham New Street.
Ministers could also indicate that they are close to giving the long-awaited go-ahead for the first leg of a new high-speed rail link from London to Manchester.
Meanwhile, amid fears that the government is failing to oversee the building of enough energy generation capacity to meet Britain’s future needs, there are likely to be several power plants included on the list.
The government recently approved two plants in the north which should create more than 1,000 construction jobs. They are Ferrybridge, a biomass plant, and Thorpe Marsh, a gas-fired power station.
The list may also include £2bn of schools which were authorised this summer which will be built under PFI, despite ministers’ hostility to the funding mechanism.
Other key infrastructure commitments include a new Green Investment Bank, £22bn of spending by water and sewerage companies, £2bn of flood and coastal defences and £530m for broadband.
The government has also promised to spend about £100m a year to support a programme of 21 contracted waste PFI projects to meet EU landfill targets.