UK government publishes Union Connectivity Review: Transport investment proposals for a stronger, better connected UK

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  • The Prime Minister underlines his commitment to strengthen transport links through the UK, as the government publishes Sir Peter Hendy’s independent Union Connectivity Review
  • The Prime Minister invites the devolved administrations to work with UK government to advance proposals that improve opportunities and prosperity across the country
  • UK government to advance the creation of UKNET, a UK-a vast strategic transport network, to plan and deliver vital improvements that better connect all nations of the UK

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged today (November 26, 2021) to forge and strengthen transport links that will create a more cohesive and connected UK.

As the UK government publishes Sir Peter Hendy’s final report on Union connectivity review, Prime Minister stressed the importance of better connections – on local and national transport networks – to bring all UK communities closer to social and economic opportunities.

The Prime Minister particularly welcomed and intends to accept the proposal to create UKNET, a strategic transport network covering the whole of the United Kingdom.

UKNET will for the first time assess and map key points across the length and breadth of the UK that are essential for stronger and more direct transport connections.

This will help boost economic growth, support job creation and increase opportunities by expanding the transport system and creating faster and easier journeys for passengers, freight and businesses.

The UK the government invited the deconcentrated administrations to work in collaboration to define and develop the necessary improvements to union connectivity, supported by specific projects, which will inform the UK government response.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

If we are truly to upgrade the country, it is essential that we improve connectivity between all corners of the world. UK, allowing more people to access more places more quickly.

Sir Peter Hendy’s review is an inspiring vision for the future of transport, which we will now take a close look at. Determined to get to work right away, we will put in place a strategy UK– a vast transportation network that can better serve the whole country with stronger sea, rail and road links – not only bringing us closer together, but boosting jobs, prosperity and opportunity.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Transport is key to bringing the UK family of nations closer together so that prosperity can be shared more fairly. It is not sufficient that certain areas of the UK thrive while others fall behind. We need to realize our full national potential and that means mobilizing the resources and skills of all regions of this country.

I am indebted to Sir Peter for his work. We will carefully consider its recommendations, work closely with decentralized administrations and work collegially to ensure that these proposals strengthen the ties that unite us, now and in the future.

The Union’s Independent Connectivity Review was launched in October 2020, led by Sir Peter Hendy CBE, to undertake how a detailed review of the quality and availability of transport infrastructure across the UK can support economic growth and quality of life.

Specific recommendations for improving connections across the UK include improved connectivity with:

  • Scotland: Proposals include reducing train travel times and increasing capacity on the West Coast Mainline, and carrying out an assessment of the East Coast Road and Rail Corridor

  • North Ireland: upgrade of the A75 key link to improve freight and passenger connectivity

  • Wales: improvements to the A55, M53 and M56, the South Wales Corridor, improvements to the North Wales coast main line and rail links to the Midlands from Cardiff

The recommendations published today also provide that the UK the government should:

  • design and implement UKNET – a strategic transport network for the whole of UK, and commit to providing additional funding to improve the network, especially the parts that are not performing well
  • plan network improvements using multimodal corridors, which should be regularly reviewed and evaluated on a broader economic basis in order to support government goals such as leveling and net zero
  • support the development of sustainable aviation fuel plants in areas of the UK that are particularly dependent on aviation for domestic connectivity

Union Connectivity Review Independent Chairman Sir Peter Hendy said:

My recommendations provide comprehensive, achievable and clear plans for the future to better connect the whole of the UK, leading to more growth, jobs, housing and social cohesion.

I welcome the enthusiasm shown by the Prime Minister and the government for my final report and look forward to their official response to my recommendations, which aim to spread opportunity and prosperity across the UK.

The UK the government will now carefully consider the recommendations of the Union Connectivity Review, working with the Scottish government, the Welsh government and the Northern Ireland executive to identify the solutions that work best for the people of the UK, and make tangible and meaningful progress as quickly as possible.

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