CILT at Conservative Party Conference 2015
At the recent Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference 2015, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Andrew Jones MP, called for the future of our roads to be more predictable, more resilient, cater for a greater capacity of road users and to make a comprehensive road network that benefits all road users. Andrew went on to announce that the Government was considering rolling out a budget of £3bn for a second Road Investment Strategy and that this would be launched later in the year. The Minister also pointed out that the development of the Hypothecated Road fund was evidence of the Government’s commitment to reforming the road network.
CILT Vice President and Chair, RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding expressed concerns for the country’s current road network struggling to cater for the capacity of vehicles. Chief Executive, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Shaun Spiers, welcomed the panelists’ determination to improve existing roads but reminded those in attendance that roads affect far more than just those people travelling in cars. He warned that a ‘car concept’ would soon run through the country if the Government’s focus on big infrastructure continued to have an impact on local services.
With regards to information provision, technology and the smart highways of the future Steve Gooding said, ‘We are currently building smart motorways that are both smart and dumb at the same time. There has to be a better way to give information to our drivers to ensure an efficient journey.’ Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus, called for an ‘information revolution’ to put the road user back in control and make drivers feel connected to what is happening across the network.