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Chris Grayling: how we will meet Britain’s future transport needs

The Secretary of State says a transport revolution is coming. What is being done to prepare?

By Chris Grayling  

A transport revolution is around the corner.

A revolution that will transform the way we travel, the way we interact with transport systems and engage with cities.

A revolution that is driven by extraordinary innovation in engineering, technology and business models.

We are already making great strides—with the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era and a third runway at Heathrow to improve connectivity across the UK. Our “Road To Zero” strategy, published last month, sets out plans to make the UK the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle.

For those who use our railways, we are committed to using the best available technology for each part of the network, delivering significant benefits to passengers who expect high quality rail services.

We are spending more than £13bn through to 2020 to transform transport across the north. We are also investing £55.7bn in HS2, which will become the backbone of our national rail network—helping us build a Britain fit for the future, boosting jobs and growth and improving vital links between some of our country’s biggest cities.

When it comes to air travel, a new third runway at Heathrow would provide benefits of up to £74bn to passengers and the wider economy and create tens of thousands of jobs. It will better connect the UK to the rest of world with an extra 16m long-haul seats available by 2040.

“We are spending more than £13bn through to 2020 to transform transport across the north—the biggest investment in history”

The benefits of expanding Heathrow will be felt across the country as there will be more flights around the UK, better connecting Scotland, Northern Ireland, the north and the southwest to new global markets via London.

And on our roads, the coming decades are going to be transformative for our motor industry. The “Road to Zero” strategy sets out a clear path for Britain to be a world leader in the zero emission revolution with plans to enable a massive expansion of green infrastructure across the country, reduce emissions from the vehicles already on the UK’s roads, and drive the uptake of zero emission cars, vans and trucks.

The government has already committed to investing £1.5bn in ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020 and the “Road to Zero” strategy outlines a number of ambitious measures including how charge points could be installed in newly built homes and, where appropriate, new lampposts.

We are also committed to becoming a global leader in the design, development and use of autonomous vehicles. They have the potential to support a better quality of life, economic growth, health, safety and social connections. They offer convenient and affordable mobility to all of us, regardless of where we live, our age or ability to drive.

With the transport revolution well on its way, we will work alongside industry, businesses, consumer groups, environmental groups, local government and international partners to make sure we meet our ambitions and the UK’s future transport needs.

Read more from the “Future of Transport”

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