George Osborne delivers the budget to the House of Commons

IET says budget lacks holistic approach to transport policy

The IET says the government must introduce a proper strategy for solving crucial transport issues.

The IET, Europe’s largest professional society of engineers, says that a holistic approach is needed instead of looking at roads, rail and other areas separately, and that it would create a more cohesive method of tackling problems like congestion and pollution.

The warning follows the Chancellor’s Budget this week, in which it was announced that a national road strategy would be developed.

Earlier this month the Secretary of State for Transport published the Rail Reform Command paper, and an aviation strategy will be published later this year.

The IET says this "piecemeal approach" to problem-solving takes no account of the interdependencies between these transport modes, such as how to achieve modal shift, how to create more sustainable journeys overall, and where capacity increases are needed.

“We are warning the government that all UK infrastructure needs to be designed as part of a single system of systems so that they support and enhance each other," said Paul Davies, head of Policy at the IET.

“This requires the sharing of key information and experience across sectors."

Also included in the Budget was an announcement of a new Catapult Centre looking at Transport Systems and Future Cities, which aims to provide a much needed boost for the commercialisation of academic knowledge on transport solutions.

The IET has welcomed this as a first step towards the development of a system of systems approach, but says that more direction from the Secretary of State is needed to ensure that this is treated as a priority.

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