Infrastructure spending must reflect post-pandemic commuter habits, CBI says + Corridors and numbers

Government investment in transport and infrastructure must evolve alongside changing commuter habits, according to a report published today by the CBI. Significant interventions have been needed to maintain commuter routes amid the decline in public transport demand resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, including grant support for bus services and emergency funding for railways.

Now, the business group is urging the Government to use the upcoming Spending Review to make commuter connectivity "fit for the future across the UK", including more flexible, reliable and low-carbon commutes.

Its new paper outlines a series of recommendations to government on how to rethink the ways it invests in the nation’s commuter networks. The proposals include:

-Making longer-term funding allocations for regional infrastructure, to enable strategic planning and improved infrastructure maintenance.
-Taking a fresh approach to decision-making about investment in commuting infrastructure – focusing on how whole programmes of projects can interact to transform regional economies and meet national ambitions including net-zero.
-A sharper focus on driving delivery, as well as increasing investment, through improving planning capacity and capability within local areas.

Matthew Fell, CBI chief policy director, said: “Commuter behaviours have undergone a sea-change this year, and the likelihood is they will never revert to past patterns or previous numbers.

“This has created challenges for operators, but opportunities too for the UK to reassess its transport investment.

“Commuters of the future will want flexible, reliable and green travel options. If the UK is to deliver the world-class infrastructure needed to meet the changing patterns of demand tomorrow, it must embed long-term shifts into its policymaking today.

“The upcoming Spending Review offers a golden opportunity to improve the commuter experience, shift the dial on levelling-up and accelerate progress towards net-zero.”

Travel corridors and latest case numbers

Turkey, Poland, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba were this week removed from England travel corridor exempt list, meaning people arriving in the UK from these destinations from 4am Saturday 3rd October 2020 will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks.

UK Government data published yesterday, Thursday, showed 6,914 new daily cases and 59 deaths. Globally, as of 10:54am CEST, 2nd October 2020, there have been 34,079,542 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,015,963 deaths, reported to WHO.

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