The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport has called on the government to speed up development of a proper high level strategy and funding package for Britain’s strategic roads network.
In May, the government responded to the Cook Report, “A Fresh Start for the Strategic Road Network”, saying it would start a consultation on its long term strategy for the strategic road network by the end of 2012.
Welcoming this, CILT chief Steve Agg said: “Developing a long-term strategy for our roads network and an appropriate funding package, as applies to rail, is long overdue.”
The Institute also recommends that the government makes contingencies for a sizeable expansion in tax-free electrically-powered vehicles and the likely fall-off in revenues – and be clear about the role of tolling and road-user charging implied in its current study of new ownership and financing models.
The Institute urges the Government to consider international experience and best practice but to look much further ahead for the roads network than its current five year horizon. The long lead times in designing road improvements and obtaining planning approval mean that route strategies will need to look at demand growth over the next 20-30 years and the most efficient way of meeting it on each route.
The Institute wants a high level output statement together with an associated network asset base, matching the arrangements for rail.
“Ensuring the strategic road network is planned as part of an overall transport strategy is vital. So far there is no sign of this,” said Agg.