Devolution of transport powers encouraged by new manifesto

February 11 2015  

Devolution of transport powers encouraged by new manifesto

English city regions deserve a greater say in delivering local road and public transport improvements, according to an infrastructure manifesto launched on Tuesday by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

It says that city region transport strategies should be supported by a national transport strategy, and that Government funding must involve less competitive bidding for one off funds and fewer funding allocations “rigidly linked to Whitehall-led themes”.

The Institution adds that local transport governance at present is often fragmented with inadequate investment and that a lot can be learned from the examples of London and Manchester (pictured).

The manifesto also calls for the next Government to create an independent infrastructure body by restructuring Infrastructure UK, and to work with local authorities on clearing the road maintenance backlog.

On this second point the report says there is scope for a more ambitious joint central and local government programme to clear the backlog and a need for a focus on planned preventative maintenance.

New infrastructure, the report adds, must also pay more attention to its resilience to extreme weather when project decisions are made.

“Whichever party wins the General Election infrastructure should form a central plank of its economic policy,” said ICE director general Nick Baveystock. “Failing to give it a front row seat, or opting for short term electoral wins, could lead to other competing nations taking our edge and the UK’s resilience diminishing.”

♦ CIHT's Greater London Branch will be hosting a seminar this evening (Wednesday) considering the impact which planned long term maintenance could have to highways in this country. Speakers include Transport for London's director of roads Dana Skelly and Parsons Brinckerhoff's technical directors Barry Nothard and James Elliott.

(Photo copyright Mikey and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)

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