Spring Budget 2017: investment in autonomous cars & transport infrastructure

Chancellor pledges £270 million for “disruptive” technologies including driverless cars

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has delivered his Spring Budget 2017, committing the Government to further investment in the UK’s transport infrastructure and future transport solutions.

In a Budget free from any nasty shocks for motorists, Hammond pledged £270 million for “disruptive technologies” – including autonomous cars – to be drawn from the £23 billion “innovation and infrastructure” fund he announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement. In addition, £16 million will be set aside for a high-speed 5G mobile network, said to be necessary for autonomous cars.

A “competition” was also announced for councils, with £690 million up for grabs for easing congestion and improving local transport networks. The Chancellor also said £90 million would be put towards urban congestion and local transport in the north, with a further £23 million going to the midlands.

And while there was no mention of a diesel buyback scheme, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, was asked about a scrappage scheme at Prime Minister’s Questions, which preceded the Budget. She responded that the Government was “looking at the measures [it] needs to introduce to improve air quality” and “needs to go further”, so “future policies” would be forthcoming – although no firm details were given.

Ahead of the Budget, a leading motor industry body urged the Chancellor to go easy on drivers. Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), put forward a number of suggestions to the Chancellor, which he said would “encourage motorists to adopt new technologies” such as hybrid and electric vehicles, rather than “beat them up” with punitive charges and tax rises.

This was the UK’s last Spring Budget, as the Chancellor announced in his 2016 Autumn Statement that future Budgets will take place in autumn, with a Spring Statement replacing the previous budget. That means there will be two Budgets in 2017, with the first Autumn Budget coming later this year.

Most Popular

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks