CILT gives evidence at Transport Select Committee on rail and road infrastructure planning policy - CILT(UK)
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CILT gives evidence at Transport Select Committee on rail and road infrastructure planning policy

19 July 2023/Categories: CILT, Press Releases, Industry News, Operations Management, Rail, Institute News, Membership

CILT (UK) appeared before Parliament’s Transport Select Committee today to give evidence on major rail and road infrastructure planning policy and be questioned on whether industry feels the National Networks National Policy Statement (NNNPS) will help meet the needs of travellers and business, and whether it will meet future transport demand while aligning with wider priorities like net zero. 

Julian Worth FCILT, Chair, CILT(UK) Rail Freight Policy Group said:

“There’s a lot of good within the NNNPS, and the section on strategic rail freight interchanges is excellent with a few minor changes. I think our overriding reaction and disappointment is that it’s not sufficiently radical in the matter of decarbonisation. Given that transport is the biggest emitter of carbon in society, one might have expected a more radical approach to the problems we face. We will be halfway to net-zero 2050 by the end of the period the NNNPS covers. The Strategic Road Network (SRN) is a major emitter of carbon, as around 12 to 15% of all UK emissions of carbon are from the SRN. We felt there was more to be done in terms of critical decarbonisation aspects of the NNPS.

“At policy level, there needs to be a pan-modal approach. Delivery can come down to modal specific things. In a time of constrained financing, we need to decide how and where we spend our money and do that transparently. In terms of policy objectives and also how we transmit those into action on the ground, pan-modality is a really key part. For example, National Highways and Network Rail did a study on the A34 corridor from Southampton to the Midlands, highlighting where the best and most cost-effective opportunities were to invest in each of the modes. This should be standard practice. We’d like to see in the policy document, all those major corridors were assessed on a modal basis.

“Rail is 1% of total emissions, and 10% of passenger transport emissions and 9% of freight transport. Road is around 30%, and within that the SRN is a third of all traffic methods and two thirds of HGV movements. Shipping and aviation are also massive emitters, but it’s important to focus on road and rail.

“Logisticians and businesses are looking for more certainty on the infrastructure of this country for how they plan their supply chains. On road, the desperate wish is to see a clear charging strategy rolled out. On rail, there’s a need for clear indications about electrification. The private sector is ready to invest hundreds of millions of pounds into electrical locomotives, but they can’t do that until there’s an assurance of an infrastructure that’s there to use them on. Some of the work CILT(UK) has been doing about the cost of electrification brings down the cost substantially to a third of what Great Western cost, and half of what’s been achieved in Scotland. We’re getting to the point where electrification is more achievable and more affordable than it was previously." 

To listen to the meeting in full, visit: - Transport Committee



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