The draft National Policy Statement (NPS) has been published by the Department for Transport under the Planning Act 2008. It sets out the Government’s vision and approach to the development of nationally significant infrastructure projects on the road and rail networks in England, including the development of strategic rail freight interchanges. It also sets out the policy against which the Secretary of State for Transport will make decisions on applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects on the road and rail networks.
The Committee would like to receive views on the draft NPS. In particular, the Committee would like to know:
- Has the Government identified a compelling need for development of the national road and rail networks and of strategic rail freight interchanges?
- Does Government policy on the development of the national road and rail networks, and the investment programme relating to the road and rail networks, meet that need?
- Does policy on the development of the networks take appropriate account of environmental, safety, sustainability and accessibility issues as well as the impact of new technology?
- To what extent does the draft NPS provide clear guidance to the Secretary of State about how to assess schemes? Does it help scheme promoters understand the approach the Secretary of State is likely to take to nationally significant road and rail infrastructure projects?
- How does the draft NPS relate to other aspects of the Government’s transport strategy, including HS2, and to integration with local transport networks?
Announcing the new inquiry, Committee Chair Louise Ellman said:
“We have been calling for the Government to publish this National Policy Statement for some time. It is an essential component of an overall strategy for transport. We will look carefully at how it balances the need for additional investment in the national road and rail networks with vital environmental, safety, sustainability and accessibility objectives.”
We would be grateful to receive written submissions by Wednesday 26 February. Submissions written specifically for the Committee will be considered for publication on our website in the usual way. We will also accept submissions which have been prepared in response to the Government’s consultation on the draft NPS. However, we will not necessarily publish this material ourselves.
Written submissions for this inquiry should be sent via the Transport Committee inquiry page.
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