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RIS3: More reliable, more resilient, longer-term road strategy needed, urges Logistics UK
Government must adopt a longer-term view to create an effective national freight network, while ensuring short-term investment improves the state of existing infrastructure, according to Logistics UK.
Responding to the government's consultation on ‘Shaping the future of England’s strategic roads’ ahead of the introduction of the third Road Investment Strategy (RIS3), the business group's Head of Cities and Infrastructure Policy, Jonathan Walker, said:
“Logistics UK welcomes the emphasis National Highways places on growing the economy in its initial report ahead of the RIS3 process. However, the logistics industry needs a reliable, resilient Strategic Road Network (SRN) to operate efficiently and support this growth. As part of this, a much longer-term view on infrastructure is needed.
“The challenges our economy faces – such as decarbonisation and the need to ‘level up’ and spread prosperity more widely across the country – will not be fully solved in the next five-year investment period (RIS3).
“A clear vision of the future infrastructure needs for the economy should be the foundation upon which these shorter-term plans are built.
“In the short-term, RIS3 must represent a step forward in the safety, condition, and reliability of the SRN. RIS3 will still represent a substantial investment in England’s road network and must therefore deliver significant benefits to road users. Logistics UK was broadly supportive of RIS2 and felt it went a long way towards addressing infrastructure needs.
“However, our members are concerned that many of the RIS2 schemes, such as the Lower Thames Crossing, have not progressed as planned. These need to be delivered swiftly to improve the flow of goods across the country and to our key ports.
“Road freight is an essential enabler of all business activity; in 2020, it accounted for 89% of all freight traffic. Improved transport infrastructure is an urgent priority both nationally and locally, to enhance capacity, reduce unreliability and prepare the network to support decarbonisation and innovation.”
Published On: 20/07/2023 14:00:00
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