Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will announce a multi-billion-pound infrastructure package today (May 14) making roads and railways smoother and safer.

A total of £1.7bn will be announced today as a Transport Infrastructure Investment Fund to ensure that England’s drivers and cyclists will return to the roads having had millions of potholes filled in, smoother surfaces laid and bridges repaired.

Around 11 million potholes will be dealt with thanks to the package, with enough tarmac to cover a road stretching a ‘third of the way around the Earth’.

It will also focus on local road safety, priority bus lanes and projects that sustain air quality improvements seen throughout lockdown.

Local roads, railways and motorways have already benefitted from hundreds of millions of pounds worth of upgrades during this quieter lockdown period.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“There has been a monumental effort in every corner of the country to slow the spread of the virus and protect our NHS. However, the battle is not over yet and we urge everyone to keep up the good work and only travel when they need to.

“To help those who do have to use public transport or get out on the roads to do their jobs, we’ve been accelerating infrastructure upgrades to make sure that, as we gradually reopen our society, everyone can benefit from smoother and safer journeys with better connections for our future.”

England’s network of electric car chargepoints will also be boosted to ensure the most sustainable option is taken as people return to their cars to help reach carbon neutral ambitions over the next decade.

April saw major improvements made on England’s motorways and major A-roads with £200m worth of work completed and around £550m worth of improvements and maintenance on the rail network.

Shapps has called on Network Rail Chairman Sir Peter Hendy CBE to oversee implementation of Government guidance by rail operators, including regular station speaker announcements, clear signage and floor markings and sufficient staff to manage crowds safely.