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Better transport networks 'will help rebalance the economy’

25 March 2021

At an APPG Infrastructure (APPGI) event yesterday, a transport minister said that infrastructure has an important role in decarbonisation and helping the UK’s economy recover from the pandemic. 

Better transport networks 'will help rebalance the economy’

A joined-up approach to transport infrastructure will help the UK's economic recovery from Covid-19, according to a senior transport minister at an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure (APPGI) panel.

The Spending Review and Spring Budget allocated funding to transport infrastructure projects, which have a greater potential than moving people from one place to another, according to Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State at the Department for Transport (DfT).

“Infrastructure has a far more fundamental role; it’s not just about getting us from A to B, but it’s the connections to make us more equal and more competitive,” Heaton-Harris said at the event.

“It will help us to decarbonise… and rebalance society and the economy and bring opportunities and jobs to places we need as we move forward from the pandemic.”

Joined-up approach

The transport minister was joined on the panel by Bridget Rosewell CBE, commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission, Andrew Carter, chief executive for Centre for Cities, and ICE Fellow Jonathan Spruce. Spruce and Rosewell also appeared on the House of Commons Transport Committee’s inquiry into major transport infrastructure projects last week.

The APPGI panel agreed that to ensure the best transport networks, that work for all, decision makers across all layers of local and national government must work collaboratively with Sub-national Transport Bodies, industry, and local people.

ICE has previously outlined a strategic approach to UK infrastructure provision to address this complexity, which involves combining the government’s various strategies, reviews and white papers, alongside existing infrastructure and ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects.

This more holistic approach will also help the UK to “deliver on our long-term objectives of decarbonising and levelling-up,” said Andrew Jones MP, chair of the APPGI.

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  • Amy Cox, public affairs manager at ICE