The recent general election campaign saw transport infrastructure feature as a key area for discussion. Over the coming months CIHT will be making a series of asks of the new government in Westminster and continuing our dialogue with the devolved administrations.
The Conservative election manifesto contained several policy positions that CIHT believe need to be addressed and delivered. For example, the manifesto offered increased certainty for funding of the highway sector including a welcome confirmation of RIS2.
Sue Percy CBE, Chief Executive, CIHT said:
“We congratulate the new Conservative Government on its election victory and look forward to working closely with them to develop future initiatives. Our profession consists of the very people who can provide the solutions to many of our big public policy challenges, be they economic growth, reducing inequality, and the challenges around health and climate change.”
“CIHT is in a unique position to work with the new government to highlight the need and benefits of ensuring the UK has world-class transportation infrastructure and services. One of the key policy areas we have recently called for has been a more integrated transport strategy which has been reflected in the recent Conservative election manifesto. We will be following up on this and other key policy areas, with the government in the next few weeks.”
Additional issues needing to be addressed by the new government include:
1) Ensuring the highways and transportation profession is adequately supported and resourced to address climate change
Transport is central in the challenge to moving to a net zero carbon economy. If the UK really want to make a difference, it is not a case of doing more of the same, a real step change is required for our sector as well as the organisations and individuals within it.
To help with this challenge, CIHT recently launched its Climate Change ‘Pledge to Change’ commitments to help with this challenge. Through these we will promote, share and disseminate knowledge and research to encourage the take up of innovations which are climate responsive.
2) The introduction of a UK Integrated Transport Strategy
Currently there is a lack of coordination of transport strategy at a spatial level across the UK.
The benefits of a coordinated strategy that covers all modes of transport are already being realised in Scotland and Wales, giving businesses the increased certainty they need.
CIHT can work with groups including national and sub-national transport bodies to develop this strategy.
An effective strategy would provide a coordinated programme of infrastructure investment. This would enable the sector to support key public policy programmes including economic growth, reducing inequality, tacking the health agenda and addressing the impacts of climate change.
As part of this strategy we would highlight the need to improve the links between planning and transport – too often we build first and then think about transport infrastructure afterwards. To this end, we have recently, in collaboration with others, published our Better Planning, Better Transport, Better Places document, providing practical advice on how to better integrate planning and transport to deliver more integrated and sustainable places.
3) Greater certainty of funding and investment for all transport infrastructure
Creating and delivering a pipeline of infrastructure investment would encourage business to invest in the resources needed to deliver future requirements.
To enable sustainable economic growth across the whole of the UK we must have increased certainty in investment in physical and digital connectivity.
4) Improvements to the local highway network
Everyone depends on the UK’s network of local roads and we need to invest in the arteries of our country to ensure we are fit to compete in the global economy.
Early next year, CIHT is due to release its ‘Improving Local Highways’ report and we will work with the new government to implement the recommendations. These will include potential alternative funding models to address the maintenance backlog.