Turning plans into action on regional infrastructure
Having previously established why regional connectivity matters, and what the priorities are in each region, this report has focused on how decision-making and delivery can be improved to ensure that each region gets the infrastructure that it needs.
The result of discussions with a wide range of businesses and transport organisations across England – it identifies concerns that the complexity of infrastructure decision-making and a lack of transparency around how investments are made are putting the promise of greater connectivity at risk.
The CBI has therefore set out five recommendations to set up each region for success.
- Ensure a joined-up approach to infrastructure at a national and regional level, with an inter-departmental group coordinating policy across government, and clear coordination between national and local industrial strategies.
- Clearly reflect the wider economic benefits of transport investment in central government decision making, with improved, clear and continuing communication with regional and local bodies to maximise the strength of business cases.
- Strengthen the role of sub-national transport bodies in strategic decision-making, with all regions represented by a sub-national transport body, and clearer expectations for their roles and powers over the medium/longer-term.
- Create a level playing field to deliver transport improvements across all regions, with a devolution framework from government and local leaders acting now to make the most of the opportunities devolution could bring to their area.
- Ensure sustainable, consolidated and long-term funding for local transport, with the comprehensive spending review used to map out a long-term commitment to increase the levels of funding directed towards local infrastructure, and the consolidation of the number of funding pots for local transport investment to enable longer-term and joined-up investment.