The UK government has released an updated framework, which includes measures to protect the environment through new major road, rail and rail freight schemes.
The framework has been adjusted to reflect legislation set out in the Environment Act that requires developers to acknowledge revised targets related to the environment and sustainability, including new regulations around biodiversity.
The new framework also recognises the proposed environmental outcome reports, which has been done to support the establishment of clear environmental outcomes, against which transport projects can be measured.
In addition to this, a consultation has been launched on the updated national networks national policy statement (NNNPS). The NNNPS will require developers of new road, rail and rail freight schemes to demonstrate their compliance with environmental regulations, including a consideration of biodiversity and the impact of proposals on carbon emissions.
The government has said it is committed to continuing to develop road and rail networks, while protecting the environment, strengthening connectivity and growing the economy.
To help meet these goals, the consultation will be seeking views on the updated framework used by developers and the government when developing major road, rail and freight schemes.
Richard Holden, transport minister and speaker at IntraLogisteX 2023, said: “Transport has a vital role to play in levelling up our country, connecting people with good jobs and education opportunities across our cities, town and villages and in growing the economy.
“This new framework is part of our mission to build a more sustainable transport system which protects our wonderful English countryside and wildlife while delivering opportunity by levelling up our transport network across the country.”
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and conclude 6 June 2023.