Prime Minister Boris Johnson has launched an independent road and rail review that will look at improving transport infrastructure across the UK.
The study will be led by chair of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy and will look at faster road and rail links to Scotland, upgrades to Welsh railways and new connections between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Johnson said: “We need transport links between our nations that are as strong as our historic bonds.
“Quality transport links are the key to making sure everyone can access education, jobs and housing, helping businesses to grow and thrive and rebalancing opportunities fairly across our country.
“As we build back better from the pandemic, Sir Peter’s review will help make sure we have the right connections to support, sustain and strengthen our communities – to truly level up across the UK.”
The review will include:
- Reviewing air links within the UK
- Exploring the cost, practicality and demand for a new fixed link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Boosting road and rail links to Scotland
- Cutting journey times to North Wales by reviewing the Welsh railway network
- Improving major road links across the country, such as the A1
Sir Peter said: “Connectivity drives economic growth, jobs and housing.
“Improving links across the UK on the basis of the wider economic benefits that increased investment will deliver will be of benefit to everyone in the UK, and I’m thus very pleased to lead this work.”
The review will also look to the future – considering the role of future technologies and assessing environmental impacts of current and future infrastructure.
Sir Peter will be expected to publish his final recommendations in summer 2021, to include advice on how best to improve connections, and whether that includes the need to invest in additional infrastructure by the Government.