The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transport (CIHT) has called again for a five-point plan that should come from the latest budget.
It has called for the following:
1) Refocussing transport to become the enabler to achieve net zero: CIHT has called for the government to develop guidance for how planning and transport should be integrated to achieve sustainable outcomes. This includes realising the opportunity to embed active travel and accelerating carbon reduction with innovative policies. If changes are not made to this area the cost from poor health, climate change and congestion will continue to rise, it said.
2) Levelling up: empowering transport to be an enabler for change: Here, CIHT calls for the government to manage the local highway network differently including making changes to transport appraisal, maintaining it at an appropriate level and creating healthier places for people to use.
3) Creating a national transport vision and strategy: The creation of a vision and strategy would give a clear focus for everyone involved in (and dependent upon) transport as to how to plan and invest for the future. Without one there is a real risk of business not investing or investment being wasted in the development of approaches that are not required. This includes integrating planning policy and transport to deliver the outcomes people need at a local and devolved level.
4) Improving skills and capability: CIHT calls for the government to work with CIHT and the wider highways and transportation sector to produce a clear plan for developing the workforce to deliver a National Transport Strategy. This would require companies to invest appropriately and enable the UK to export these skills and capability internationally, increasing opportunities for expansion into the global transport infrastructure market.
5) A long term strategy to improve road safety: CIHT calls for the government to develop a long-term strategy for significantly reducing the number of people killed and injured on our roads. This will require re-introducing casualty reduction targets to drive policy and behaviour change.
CIHT welcomed the focus on supporting apprenticeships and the announcement of £3,000 for each new apprentice hired between the 1st April to 30th September 2021. High Streets shops and hospitality firms will be able to get a grant from a £5bn fund to help them reopen after lockdown. The role that transport and places play within supporting high streets is vital and having well maintained highways, footways and cycle paths will be important in supporting this sector get back to business, it said.
Sue Percy, CEO of CIHT said: “From getting key workers to jobs to the roll-out of the vaccine how we move people and products around the UK is central to the response to the pandemic. Transportation is critical to economic performance and productivity and addresses many of the government’s key policy areas including carbon reduction, health, and inclusion.”
CIHT also welcomed the announcement of the UK Infrastructure Bank that will focus on green infrastructure investment, the role of transport infrastructure in supporting achieving Net Zero is critical. “Today’s budget also announced a 130% super-deduction, whereby companies can cut their taxes by up to 25p for every pound they investment; CIHT welcomes this for the construction sector to invest in new efficient plant and equipment. The Chancellor also highlighted investment in transport infrastructure with 8 freeports across England being announced,” CIHT said.