Here is your monthly round-up of the key transport developments in December 2021.
This month we look at the latest EV developments, the amendments to the RTFO scheme, the rail Strategic Plan coming out of the Williams-Shapps review, the ORR's RIS3 consultation and more.
This Civil Aviation Order revokes the Civil Aviation (Customs and Excise Airports) Order 2001 and the Civil Aviation (Customs and Excise Airports) Order 2009 and replaces them with a new Order which designates certain airports to be places for the landing or departure of aircraft for the purposes of the enactments for the time being in force relating to customs and excise. This Order, in force from 1 January 2022, adds Doncaster (Sheffield) Airport, George Best (Belfast City) Airport and Inverness Airport for these purposes.
The House of Lords Library has published an article examining recent developments in the Government's plan for decarbonising the UK aviation sector. The article follows the closure of the Government's consultation on ‘Jet Zero’, with the Government currently analysing responses ahead of the planned launch of its Jet Zero strategy in 2022.
- Aviation / Rail Network / Shipping
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published a Policy Paper detailing secondary legislation on what passenger information is needed for ships, aircraft and railway vehicles arriving in or departing from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The legislation came into force on 1 January 2022.
This Order, which comes into force on 1 January 2022, extends the financial incentive attained by trading Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs) to suppliers of renewable hydrogen used in fuel cell rail and non-road transports and to renewable fuels of non-biological origin used in maritime. It also increases the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) obligation level by 5 percentage points (rising from 9.6% to 14.6%) in the period up to 2032 and updates the sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions criteria that renewable fuels must meet to receive RTFCs.
The House of Commons Transport Committee is to examine the effect of Government fuel policy on connectivity, capacity and sustainability across all transport modes including motor vehicles, maritime, rail and aviation, up to 2050.
- Electric Vehicles
The Zero Emission Vehicles Transition Council (ZEVTC) 2022 has published its 2022 action plan, detailing how the Council will work together on its high priority areas throughout 2022. The high priority areas identified for 2022 are: charging infrastructure; CO2 or fuel efficiency standards and regulations; heavy duty vehicles; and supporting a global transition.
A Department for Transport publication details the UKs plans for all new heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to be zero-emission by 2040. The UK is now the first country to commit to all new heavy goods vehicles weighing 26 tonnes and under by 2035 being net-zero and all new HGVs sold in the UK to be zero emission by 2040. This pledge builds on the UK's 2030 phase out for petrol and diesel cars and vans.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced the opening up of competition in the charging sector by attaining legally-binding assurances from key industry players to address the CMAs competition concerns and open up competition in the market ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
The Department for Transport and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles have announced that the grant scheme for zero-emission vehicles has been updated to target less expensive models, following a recent increased demand for EVs. With sales of EV cars up 89% compared to 2020, the Government has altered the grant scheme, meaning it will now provide grants of: up to £1,500 for electric cars priced under £32,000 (although support for wheelchair accessible vehicles remains at £2,500 for cars under £35,000); up to £5,000 for large vans and £2,500 for small vans (with a limit of 1,000 per customer per year); and up to £500 towards the cost of a motorcycle, and £150 for mopeds, with a price cap on vehicles of £10,000.
- National Transport Network
The Department for Transport has published the final report from the Union Connectivity Review, which makes recommendations that aim to improve transport connectivity across the UK. The review, led by Sir Peter Hendy, recommends the establishment of a multi-modal transport network (UKNET), as well as identifying existing transport projects that would support better connectivity and should be considered by the government for future investment.
- Rail Network
An Addleshaw Goddard article examining the Great British Railways (GBR) Transition Team call for evidence on the Whole Industry Strategic Plan (WISP) which will set the direction for the railway over the next thirty years. The article examines: GBR's core goals; the GBR Transition Team; the competition to identify new national and regional headquarters for GBR; the Government's response to the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee reports from earlier this year; the WISP; and the five strategic objectives for the WISP.
A Great British Railways Transition Team call for evidence on a whole industry strategic plan for rail. It invites comments on how rail can support long-term national objectives to inform the development of a strategic plan, which has been commissioned by the Department for Transport. Consultation ends: 4 February 2022.
Nichola Mallon MLA, Minister for Infrastructure and Eamon Ryan T.D., Minister for Transport have jointly published a consultation paper on the All Island Strategic Rail Review, covering rail in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and are now seeking feedback from the public and interested stakeholders. Consultation ends: 21 January 2022.
The Department for Transport has announced that the Government will cap rail fare increases in 2022 and plans to delays the rise in prices until March to allow passengers more time to buy cheaper flexible and season tickets at the existing rate. Next year’s rail fare rise will now be 3.8%, below the current retail price inflation of 7.1%.
A House of Commons Library briefing provides an overview of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, the Government's White Paper on rail reform, and some of the key challenges ahead for the railway in Great Britain, along with an explanation of the arrangements the Government has put in place to ensure services continued to run during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Road Network
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published a consultation on how they intend to conduct activities and the evidence they intend to use to inform assessments in preparation for the third road investment strategy (RIS3) process. Consultation ends: 28 January 2022
The Department of Transport has published a declaration, signed by the initial cohort of members of Operation Zero, outlining the group’s mission statement and ambitions as well as the pledges of members to work together to decarbonise Shipping vessels. Operation Zero is an industry coalition that was launched by the Department for Transport at COP26 to accelerate the decarbonisation of the operations and maintenance vessels in the North Sea offshore wind sector.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published a consultation on the proposed extension of enforcement powers used for maritime legislation to enable a comprehensive suite of civil sanctions. Consultation ends: 16 January 2022.