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Transport Select Committee kicks off new inquiry highlighting the ICE's call for a transport strategy

30 June 2023

The inquiry will examine the UK government’s strategic objectives for transport and how they influence investment decisions in services, networks, and infrastructure.

Transport Select Committee kicks off new inquiry highlighting the ICE's call for a transport strategy
Transport Committee chair Iain Stewart MP says the recommendations will “help the government ensure its future plans dovetail and aren’t made in siloes”. Image credit: UK Parliament (licensed under  CC BY 3.0.)

The UK’s Transport Select Committee has launched a new inquiry into joined-up transport planning, highlighting the ICE's strong case for a strategic vision to inform investment decisions.

The ICE made the case for a national transport strategy for England last year, in a joint policy paper with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure (APPGI).

Since the paper’s publication, the ICE has been meeting politicians to argue for a more joined-up approach to road and rail investments.

On 3 July 2023, an updated ICE paper will identify the gaps in the government’s current approach to transport planning, how it should fill these gaps, and linked issues it must resolve.

What did it say?

Calling attention to the limitations of the current approach to transport planning, the committee said:

“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.”

The inquiry will examine the extent to which the government predicts, provides for, maintains, and develops the country's transport needs, considering road, rail, and more.

It will also assess what difference the “adoption of clear, national, strategic objectives for transport could make” for communities.


The Transport Select Committee published its call for evidence on strategic transport objectives on 30 June 2023. The consultation will close on 25 August 2023.

Why does this matter?

Select committees gather evidence and scrutinise government departments on their performance in different areas. The recommendations they make require an official government response.

We encourage readers to respond to the committee's inquiry.

The ICE previously gave oral evidence to the committee explaining how a joined-up approach to transport planning would help achieve national objectives such as net zero and climate adaptation.

The session was chaired by Huw Merriman MP, now a transport minister.

Last year’s policy paper, Accelerating the delivery of the Integrated Rail Plan, drew on input from members and other infrastructure experts.

It made the case for a more holistic view of transport planning that brings together disparate strategies into a central national transport strategy.

Earlier this year, the ICE hosted a presidential roundtable with the chair of the Transport Committee to explore the recommendation in more detail, bringing together experts and other key figures in transport planning.

The ICE followed up with a green paper research programme to explore alternative options to England's approach to strategic transport planning.

The results of this research are now available on the ICE website.

  • Chris Richards, director of policy at Institution of Civil Engineers