East Midlands gets money for roads, schools and jobs

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Media captionDerby's A38 among funding projects

Roads in Derbyshire and Leicestershire and an enterprise zone near Hinckley are some of the East Midlands projects that will benefit from a £100bn government investment.

The plans will mean improvements to the A38 in Derby and two busy M1 junctions.

The programme was revealed by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander on Thursday.

Malcolm Bingham from the Freight Transport Association said the A38 needed "urgent investment".

'Massive catch-up'

He welcomed the news, saying: "It should make the A38 more reliable. Local traffic currently has to complete with strategic traffic which creates the kind of jams we see on those roundabouts."

He described the investment in roads, which the government says is the biggest since the 1970s, as a "massive catch-up operation".

"At least we have got some money committed, going through into the next parliament," he said.

"Of course, this is just the funding announcement - we need to look at this in detail to see how the plans work out going forward."

'Jam tomorrow'

The government said the proposals - named Investing in People's Future - would mean £100bn worth of public investment before 2020.

The East Midlands investment will include:

  • £175m worth of construction work at the Little Eaton, Markeaton and Kingsway roundabouts on the A38
  • Work to improve the M1 between junctions 24 and 25 and junctions 28 and 31
  • The creation of up to 2,000 technology and engineering jobs at the Mira Technology Park, near Hinckley
  • A rail enhancement programme between Yorkshire, the Midlands and the south of England
  • The rebuilding of 28 schools in poor condition

Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North, described the announcement as "jam tomorrow".

"It's welcome news but I will believe it when I see it," he said. "We have heard these commitments in the past."

He criticised the government for dropping previous Labour investment plans.

However, Conservative Derbyshire county councillor Simon Spencer said: "You can be cynical about it but I don't believe Danny Alexander would make that announcement if he didn't believe he would carry it through.

"I'm obviously very pleased but there's a long way to go yet."

He said the A38 improvements would "create jobs" and help regenerate Derby.

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