Smart Transport

Government announces new framework to ensure road and rail development projects protect the environment

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The Government has unveiled an updated framework with measures to protect the environment in new major road, rail, and rail freight schemes.

The framework has been updated to reflect legislation set out in the Environment Act, which requires developers to recognise new environmental targets and sets out further details on biodiversity net gains.

The new framework also recognises the proposed environmental outcome reports, allowing the Government to set environmental outcomes against which transport schemes are assessed.

A consultation has been launched on an updated National Networks National Policy Statement (NNNPS) with measures to require developers of new road, rail and rail freight schemes to show how they meet environmental targets, consider biodiversity net gains and the impact of their proposals on carbon emissions.

The consultation is seeking views on an updated framework used by developers and the Government when developing major road, rail and freight schemes.

Transport minister Richard Holden said: "Transport has a vital role to play in levelling up our country, connecting people with good jobs and education opportunities across our cities, town and villages and in growing the economy.

"This new framework is part of our mission to build a more sustainable transport system which protects our wonderful English countryside and wildlife while delivering opportunity by levelling up our transport network across the country.”

The consultation will run for 12 weeks until June 6, 2023.

The Government has also announced that the framework used to assess major port development proposals is being reviewed to ensure that it reflects the issues facing ports today.

The National Policy Statement for Ports (NPSP) was designated in 2012, and will now be reviewed by the transport secretary in light of more recent trends in port freight traffic, and a range of institutional changes and evolution of wider policy, particularly around the environment, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry. Watch his presentation below:


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