Freight News, Road, Sea

Better port links coming soon, says Highways Agency

[ August 24, 2020   //   ]

Improved access to the Port of Liverpool and a new road and tunnel under the Thames between Essex and Kent to speed up journeys to and from the Channel ports are included in a £14 billion programme of major road improvements announced by Highways England on 21 August. It also includes the scheme to upgrade the A66to improve connections between ports in Scotland and Northern Ireland and those in England at Hull and Felixstowe.

On the same day, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps unveiled a new Acceleration Unit to tackle delays to infrastructure projects and drive forward progress. A new team of specialists will join the Department for Transport in September and will be directly accountable to the Transport Secretary. It will be led by Darren Shirley, currently chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport and formerly of Which? Magazine.

The Acceleration Unit will also engage experts with significant experience in delivering infrastructure projects including Highways England’s director of complex infrastructure projects, Chris Taylor, who oversaw the construction of the £1.5 billion A14 scheme and Mark Reynolds Chief Executive of Mace, which oversaw the construction of the Nightingale hospital in East London in nine days.

In response to the announcement of the Acceleration Unit,  Logistics UK policy director Elizabeth De Jong, said: “The logistics sector relies on robust transport connections across the country to ensure the strength and resilience of the supply chain, and this funding announcement is a positive step which will assist business to return to pre-Covid19 levels of activity and enhance the UK’s competitiveness.  Our members look forward to supporting government in the development of this programme, to ensure that the UK’s economy is better prepared to face the challenges ahead.”