Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Ports and planning are priority - Eddington


UNDERINVESTMENT IN ports and Britain's convoluted planning system are set to be the key issues covered in a review of government transport policy by former British Airways chairman Rod Eddington, MPs heard last week.

Transport secretary Alistair Darling has asked Eddington to look at Britain's transport needs beyond 2015.

Last week, Eddinton outlined his initial thoughts to the Commons transport select committee. He will reveal his findings to Darling and Chancellor Gordon Brown by the middle of next year.

'The current planning regime is too complicated, too long and too uncertain, ' he said.

Eddington was particularly interested in planning as it relates to major schemes such as ports.

Eddington referred to the recent rejection of plans to build a new container port at Dibden Bay near Southampton.

'You sometimes accept that the answer should be 'no', but it should not take four or five years and cost £45M.

'I'm not calling for a reduction in thoroughness and wouldn't want to see local authorities taken out of the process at all.

But it just takes too long and is too expensive.' Eddington described ports as the forgotten piece of transport infrastructure. 'They are absolutely fundamental. Britain will continue to be major importer of goods and materials with 95% coming through its ports. We neglect them at our peril.'

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.