Billions for road, rail and Tube as Eurostar stake put up for sale
Superfast rural broadband and nuclear power will also get new government investment
THE government is planning to sell off its 40 per cent stake in Eurostar as part of a national infrastructure plan to be unveiled later today. The new strategy sets out over £375bn planned public and private investments to 2030 and beyond, including 646 projects in sectors such as energy, transport and communications. The insurance industry – not a traditional source of infrastructure funding – is also unveiling plans to invest £25bn over the next five years, reports the Daily Telegraph. Here are some of the government plans to be revealed:
- Eurostar sell-off: The government will sell off its 40 per cent stake in the Eurostar rail service as part of a plan to privatise £20bn of its financial and corporate assets by 2020. France's SNCF owns 55 per cent of Eurostar and the Belgian state owns the remaining five per cent.
- Redevelopment at Gatwick: Around £50m will be spent on redeveloping the railway station at Gatwick Airport.
- Nuclear power investment: The government will guarantee financial support for the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, north Wales. The deal is expected to involve Japanese company Hitachi and the UK energy company Horizon.
- Northern Line extension: A UK guarantee has been agreed for a £1bn Northern Line extension on the London Underground to Battersea.
- Improvements to A roads: Improvements are planned for the A50 around Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire, and the A14 around the port of Felixstowe in Suffolk. Plans for toll charges on the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon will be scrapped after local objections, with the £1.5bn widening scheme expected to be funded by the government.
- Electric fleets: Public sector car fleets will be converted to electric vehicles in a £5m transport overhaul.
- Faster broadband: A £10m competitive fund will open in early 2014 to test ways to deliver superfast broadband to remote areas of the UK.