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Call for Evidence

Strategic transport objectives

This submission form is not currently public. Please only use this form if invited to do so by the committee, otherwise your submission might not be considered.

Call for evidence

The Transport Committee is inquiring into how the Government sets its strategic transport objectives and how these objectives do—or should—influence decisions on investment in, and cross-government planning of, services, networks and infrastructure.

Future investment planning is currently mostly done on the basis of individual transport modes or specific programmes, with bodies in different parts of the country advocating for new infrastructure, revenue funding or powers to support and improve services across all modes in their area. Funding in some modes is both short-term and in short supply, with resources often allocated by competition. The Institution of Civil Engineers and the National Infrastructure Commission are among organisations who have recently set out the case for a strategic transport vision at a national level to guide policy and investment decisions.

We want to investigate the extent to which the Government takes a long-term, national and multi-modal approach to predicting, providing for, maintaining and developing the country’s transport needs, and what difference adoption of clear, national strategic objectives for transport could make.

We welcome submissions of written evidence that address any or all of the following themes. We are also interested in receiving submissions that draw on international comparisons to address these questions.

Defining objectives

1. What is your understanding of the Government’s strategic transport objectives? Are they the right ones, and if not, how should they be changed?

2. How well has the Government articulated the outcomes and objectives it seeks from the country’s transport network? How could this be improved, and what impact would better-defined objectives have on transport planning and investment?

Using objectives to guide investment

3. How well does the appraisal and decision-making process for new transport investment meet the Government’s strategic transport objectives? How should this be improved?

4. How should wider economic, environmental and social impacts be appraised and valued, including when the gains will largely be felt in policy areas other than transport?

5. How can longer-term certainty in planning be achieved in order to promote greater private sector investment from a range of sources?

Improving coordination and alignment

6. How effectively is strategic transport planning and investment coordinated across and between transport modes, including with reference to achieving modal shift?

7. How could planning for transport infrastructure across government and coordination of policy (for example, with policy on energy, digital or planning) be made more coherent and streamlined?

8. How effectively is strategic transport planning and investment coordinated between national, devolved, regional and local government and other public bodies? Do the current division and distribution of powers help or hinder?