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Newly appointed Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, has prioritised the faster completion of infrastructure projects in his mini-budget released last week. 

The proposal seeks to accelerate the progress of ongoing schemes such as the Stonehenge road tunnel. This project is currently underway building a new 3.3km long tunnel running underneath the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and is expected to be opened to traffic in 2026. 

Mr Kwarteng’s Growth Plan 2022, which was published on the 23rd of September, provides a long list of national highway projects highlighted for faster completion. 

One of the ways the Chancellor proposes to accelerate the pace of infrastructure growth is to make changes to the Judicial Review system and the Highways Act of 1980. Tweaks to these pieces of legislation may see reduced delays from claims and faster approval of projects. 

Mr Kwarteng’s mini-budget provides an extensive list of infrastructure projects, including 86 for national highways, as well as more for rail and local transport, to be prioritised with construction commencing before the end of 2023. 

Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: “Any efforts to accelerate infrastructure delivery should be applauded, as ultimately this will drive much-needed economic growth.

“However, we have seen efforts to speed up delivery by past administrations, so we hope that the new Government will work with industry to ensure the measures announced today are genuinely transformative, and will enable the UK to harness infrastructure investment to deliver a high-growth economy in the months and years ahead.”

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