Upcoming Consultations on Roads, Parking, Rail and More

26th Apr 2019

Before Parliament spins up after the Easter holidays I thought it would be timely to discuss the upcoming transport related consultations related to the Highways and Transportation sector that CIHT is planning to respond to, and that we’re eager to hear your views on.

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Last week was the deadline for the Transport Select Committee's Inquiry into road safety, the questions are focused the current plateauing preventing deaths on British roads, what the government is doing and what proven methods exist which we aren't pursuing. It’s a tricky subject with no fully satisfying answer as to why this is. We’ve already made our submission, but the clerks are often amenable to late submissions if you get in quickly. You can find the full details here.

The committee is also investigating regulation around the perennial bugbear of pavement parking, with a focus on its impact and any legislative reforms needed around the practice. Although the Highway Code says you 'should not' park on the pavement there is a division between local authorities in London (where it is banned under the Greater London Act 1974 unless specifically marked), those with specific legislation such as Exeter, those in Scotland which will soon gain the power (via the Parking and the Transport (Scotland) Bill) ) and the vast majority of the rest of the UK which rely on implementing Traffic Regulation Orders when necessary.

Given the complexity many have argued its time to clarify matters. You can see the full consultation here and the deadline is on the 14th of May.

The Department of Transport is also trying to address an industry pain point with a consultation on 'Specifications for the reinstatement of openings in highways'. This is mainly about the role and duties of utility companies when they dig up the roads, and who should pay the consequences for premature degradation and poorer surface quality. One of the key proposals is moving from a three-year guarantee period to a five-year period to which we have received numerous reactions, from it won't make a difference, to it doesn't go anywhere near far enough. You can see the full proposals here, and the deadline is 6th May.

From HM Treasury we have an attempt to uncover new funding mechanisms to replace Private Finance Initiatives which were abolished by Chancellor Hammond in the 2018 budget where he argued they do not deliver value to taxpayers. Given they would have in some form funded the Silvertown Tunnel, the A303 under Stonehenge and the Lower Thames Crossing it has left a big hole in plans if they are not grandfathered in. Leaving the EU has also complicated matters as the European Investment Bank will no longer be funding UK projects, but it may also mean that strict EU accounting rules no longer apply making some financial tactics more viable. You can see the consultation questions here, and the deadline is on 5th of June.

There are also two other long running consultations occurring, the Williams Rail Review which is investigating sustainable solution for the UK's railways (found here, deadline is 31st May) and Aviation 2050 — the future of UK aviation (found here, deadline 20th June).

You can find CIHT's past consultation responses at this link and we value our members input into any of these responses to technical@ciht.org.uk

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