Chancellor 'pledges biggest increase in roads spending in a generation'

Coverage of yesterday's Spending Review, including news that the chancellor has pledged 'the biggest increase in transport spending in a generation', features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription required) reports that in yesterday’s Spending Review George Osborne told the Commons that transport capital spending "will increase by 50 per cent to a total of £61 billion - the biggest increase in a generation".

The Financial Times (subscription required) says that the "UK’s 1.4 million private landlords are proving to be a soft target for George Osborne, who landed a double punch on Wednesday that could end the dream of becoming a property magnate for many." The newspaper says that, from next April, what’s being dubbed the "landlord tax" will "apply an additional 3 per cent stamp duty to buy-to-let purchases, softening the foundations of what has been a rock-solid asset class for private investors."

The Telegraph reports that the UK "could build one of the world's first small modular nuclear reactors in the 2020s, after ministers announced support for the technology through a £250 million research package." The newspaper says that a competition to identify the "best value small modular reactor design for the UK" will be launched in the new year, which will "pave the way towards building one of the world’s first small modular reactors in the UK in the 2020s", the Treasury said.

The Independent reports that research has found that "people from communities surrounded by green space, trees and animals are more likely to look out for each other as well". The newspaper says that "researchers found that when it comes to ‘social cohesion’ nature is much more important than age, gender, education and income combined – while the prevalence of accessible green space or farmland in a neighbourhood also helps bring down the level of crime".

The Independent also reports that many of major development projects in Africa will result in destructive "corridors" being built through some of the world’s most precious wildlife areas with little or no overall benefit for the local population, a study has found. The newspaper says that an assessment "of 33 developmental corridors involving the construction of immensely long roads, railways, pipelines and power cables has found that most of them are of questionable benefit and at least six are so toxic for the environment that they should be cancelled immediately."

The Guardian reports that the London Borough of Wandsworth has unveiled the winning design for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge between Nine Elms and Pimlico in London. The newspaper says that Danish architects Bystrup designed the proposed bridge.

The Daily Mail reports that a wedge-shaped house in Buckinghamshire has been awarded House Of The Year in the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) awards. The newspaper says that, commissioned by Lord Rothschild for use by his family, "Flint House rises out of the ground with roofing that disappears into the sky."


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