Establishing a strategic transport network is a central premise of Sir Peter Hendy CBE’s Union Connectivity Review final report.
Key elements of the report, published on November 26, include electrification of the North Wales Coast Line, investing in the West Coast Main Line north of Crewe, and improving links between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Chief among the proposals is the creation of UKNET - a new country-wide strategic transport network.
Hendy, who also chairs Network Rail, argues: “Leaving the EU and its Trans-European Network has created the opportunity to establish UKNET… which, with funding and regular review, can much better serve the overall economic and social needs of the whole of the UK.”
Establishing UKNET is widely supported, the report says, with 94% of respondents to the specific UKNET question in the call for evidence - including 100% of respondents from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - being in favour of its development.
The final UCR report, which follows an interim version published in March, contends that while devolution of transport has had positive effects and that “regional authorities are best placed to understand the needs of local communities”, it has also led to a gap in more strategic UK-wide planning.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Hendy’s review as “an inspiring vision for the future of transport”.
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