Opinion Former Article

We need to consider our transport networks as “a whole”, say engineers

The Transport Committee today says that the Government must plan for new road and rail investment by looking at future passenger and freight demand by route or region, not by looking at each in isolation from each other.

Supporting today’s reports from the Transport Committee, Jeremy Evans from the IET Transport Policy Panel, said: “Our growing population and infrastructure means that transport planning has become increasingly challenging in the last 20 years. Making sure we plan effectively and holistically for our entire passenger and freight traffic system, and not only for parts of it in isolation, is more crucial than ever.

“Historically we have tended to view planning in terms of the national networks and then the local networks. But we can no longer see these as two separate entities. Imagine, for example, if we widened the M1 Southbound without at the same time improving the notoriously gridlocked Staples Corner on the north circular. We would end up with nothing more than a giant car park.

“Instead we need to consider our transport networks as a whole – and how they impact individual regions of the UK. Nowhere is this more important that with HS2, where there are significant opportunities for the proposed project to deliver benefits to towns in the north via the existing local transport network. However, if we want to realise these benefits fully, planning needs to start now.”

Notes to editors:

§  Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.

§  The IET is one of the world’s largest organisations for engineers and technicians.  We have nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries around the world.

§  The IET is working to engineer a better world. We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community, supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society.

§  The IET is the Professional Home for Life® for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of Essential Engineering Intelligence® and thought leadership.

§  For more information, visit www.theiet.org

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