Civil engineers call for more coherent transport strategy

Download document:

ICE Transport 2013 - .PDF file.

Political infighting, lack of investment and an absence of clear, strategic thinking is undermining transport’s potential contribution to economic growth, says a new report. 

In its State of the Nation: Transport report, published today, the by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), calls for the creation of a comprehensive, long-term transport strategy for England, as well as a “shake-up” of the decision making framework.

Key recommendations include: the creation of more powerful regional transport authorities modelled on Transport for London (TFL); immediate action to improve the condition of our roads through a five year budget aimed at clearing the maintenance backlog; and the creation of an independent infrastructure commission to help devise an election-proof transport strategy.

‘The need for a coherent, long term transport strategy – particularly for England – is becoming urgent,’ said Steven Hayter, Chair of the ICE transport panel.

‘Without one, investments and improvements to the networks will continue to be delayed, uncertain, expensive to deliver and inefficient. We are confident Government recognises this, but it is time to translate intent into action.

Commenting on the report’s emphasis on the need to improve the UK’s roads, Roger Salomone, head of business environment policy at EEF, said: ‘Roads are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 90% of domestic passenger journeys and 70% of domestic freight movements.

‘The overwhelming majority of manufacturers see it as the number one priority for investment in transport infrastructure…the government urgently needs to reverse the trend of chronic underinvestment in the road network that has continued under its watch.’