The spread of coronavirus has had an unprecedented effect on how and where we work, accelerating changes that were already underway on commuter networks. As businesses plan for a future return to the office, commuters now want more flexible greener travel options, with greater interoperability across services.
Whilst pledges of increased investment in transport infrastructure have been welcome, if government is to truly level-up connectivity across the country, it will need to update its approach to investment. As the CBI’s new report, in partnership with KPMG, ‘Connecting Communities’ lays out, this must start by government supporting regional decision makers to take a significantly more strategic approach to planning for, assessing, and delivering key infrastructure investments.
Three key issues government should tackle:
Uncertainty about long-term funding
For many years local authorities have struggled to draw up and then deliver coherent, long-term plans to build and maintain more integrated transport networks. With over 80% of the short-term funding made available by government over the last three years, requiring councils to put together competitive bids, there has been little resourcing available to draw up longer-term plans.
A fragmented project-by-project approach to appraisal
Government at all levels has failed to capture the full benefit of interacting investments in commut