The Chancellor George Osborne has used the budget to say that the Government intends to make the UK “as a global centre for excellence in connected and autonomous vehicles”.
In his speech he confirmed reports that money will be used for a number of initiatives including trials of driverless cars on the strategic road network by next year, a consultation on sweeping away regulatory barriers within this Parliament to enable autonomous vehicles on England’s major roads, establishing a £15 million ‘connected corridor’ from London to Dover to enable vehicles to communicate wirelessly with infrastructure and potentially other vehicles and carry out trials of truck platooning on the strategic road network.
He also talked about the “northern powerhouse” confirming that the government will find the money to create a four-lane M62, develop the case for a road tunnel from Manchester to Sheffield and funding High Speed 3 between Manchester and Leeds.
The government will also spend money upgrading the A66 and A69 and building London’s Crossrail 2. Tolls on the Severn Crossings between England and Wales will be halved by 2018 and fuel duty will be frozen for the sixth year in a row.