The UK government has announced the launch of a new Acceleration Unit designed to fast track essential road and rail upgrades in the UK.
The hope is that working with the Department for Transport (DfT), this new Unit will speed up road building and tackle delays to infrastructure projects on both road and rail.
Put another way, the aim is to make it easier and quicker for everyone to get from A to B.
Chris Yarsley, policy manager for road infrastructure at Logistics UK spoke to Fleet Speak about the impact this unit will have on the trucking industry. He said: “The road network has been subject to chronic underinvestment for several years, with many truck drivers and fleet operators forced to operate on congested, poorly connected roads, leading to unreliable journey times and much frustration.”
He continued: “If the Unit is successful in its ambition to speed up infrastructure projects, commercial vehicle drivers will benefit from a much-improved road network, particularly with the realisation of the government’s £27.4 billion Road Investment Strategy.”
As well as greater efficiency and more robust transport connections across the country, the Unit will also create jobs, increase connectivity and boost the economy.
Coming into effect in September, the Unit will be headed up by Darren Shirley, currently chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport. Under him will be a team of experts including Highways England’s director of complex infrastructure projects, Chris Taylor, and Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds.
Speaking about the project, transport secretary Grant Schapps said: “As Britain begins to get moving once again after four months of lockdown, no-one should underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead.”
He continued: “The creation of our new Acceleration Unit and investment in our roads and railways will ensure we build back better, greener and faster in the future.”