Transport Select Committee new session inquiries: ACE seeks member involvement

Smart motorways

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee has released details of its programme for the 2014-15 session of parliament revealing that it is set to conduct inquiries into the future of motoring, investment in the classic rail network and strategic river crossings.  

The programme was published last week after a consultation process in which potential topics were suggested.

‘“The Transport Committee scrutinises all aspects of transport policy," explained committee chair Louise Ellman MP. "Investment in the classic rail network, strategic river crossings and motoring for the future are all important topics. Equally, the Committee will continue to pay close attention to other transport issues.”

With much focus on the huge investment being pumped into the nation’s road network, the committee will look at other, equally relevant issues in light of the increased use of smart motorways and the need to reduce emissions from motoring activities. These will include technological developments designed to improve safety, alternative fuels, and better information provision for motorists.

Again, with much attention on HS2, it would be easy to overlook Network Rail's fifth Control Period settlement which will see £38bn invested in the classic network up to 2019. As the tap is turned on, the committee will investigate the network operator's plans and priorities for delivery, especially as regards electrification and resilience, the role of the Office of Rail Regulation in ensuring value for money, and plans for freight investment.

Finally, plans for additional strategic river crossings will be examined as well as how they are funded and tolling arrangements. It is hoped that this will not limit itself to crossings in London but have a national outlook while also looking at not just road crossings but look at rail bridges too.

ACE will be seeking to work very closely with the Transport Select Committee on all these inquiries and would welcome contributions to the work from all quarters. If you wish to be involved, please contact the ACE’s Policy Officer Peter Campbell on or 020 7227 1885.