Monthly round-up of the key transport developments for August 2022


This month we cover self-driving vehicles, the new LEVI pilot scheme for EV chargepoints, responses from CMA and ORR on the rail legislation reform consultation, the new national maritime security strategy and more.

Autonomous vehicles

Connected and automated mobility 2025: realising the benefits of self-driving vehicles
The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles has published a paper detailing the government’s approach to supporting the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles. The paper commits to a new legislative framework for safe self-driving road vehicles which will enable innovation whilst also ensuring safety as well as setting out the government's response to the review of the automated vehicle legislation and the consultation on the future of the UK connected and automated mobility sector.

Government consults on safety ambition for self-driving vehicles
The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles has launched a consultation on its proposed safety ambition for self-driving vehicles which will form the foundation of a new self-driving vehicle safety framework. Following this consultation, the Centre will outline a final safety ambition that will provide the basis for more detailed safety requirements. Consultation ends: 14 October 2022.

Responsible Innovation in Self-Driving Vehicles
The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has published a report that sets out proposals for a trustworthy approach to the regulation and governance of self-driving vehicles. The CDEI’s recommendations directly support the government’s ‘Connected and Automated Mobility 2025: Realising the benefits of self-driving vehicles in the UK’ - a roadmap which commits to developing a new legislative framework to build trust in self-driving vehicles while enabling innovation. This report will inform the work of the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles as they develop primary and secondary legislation in this area.

Bus

CMA response to Welsh Government’s Bus Services White Paper
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its response to the Welsh Government’s consultation on bus services in Wales ‘One network, one timetable, one ticket’. The CMA’s response recognises bus transport as a crucial part of the UK’s transport infrastructure and supports measures to make local bus markets work better for consumers however it also highlights some of the risks to franchising and how to mitigate those risks.

DPTAC position on eligibility criteria for concessionary bus travel
The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) has published a viewpoint and recommendations to the Department for Transport regarding the bus pass criteria for disabled people.

Decarbonisation

When can green and blue hydrogen get extra RTFO certificates?
This Addleshaw Goddard article follows the recent UK Government clarification on the "additionality" requirements for renewable hydrogen under the renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO) scheme, noting that following this clarification, more hydrogen projects should now be eligible for support due to the additional flexibility provided to green hydrogen plants.

Government consults on increased driving licence flexibility for alternatively-fuelled vehicles
The Department for Transport and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles have launched a consultation seeking views on potential changes to driving licence flexibility for alternatively-fuelled vans and other vehicles of similar weight. The current licensing flexibility permits drivers to operate slightly heavier goods vans than the typical weight entitlement, in order to allow for the extra weight of a cleaner power system, for example, vehicles powered by a battery. The consultation explores the: additional training that drivers must complete to gain driving licence flexibility; types of vehicles that should be eligible; towing allowance of these vehicles; and powertrains that should be eligible.

Electric Vehicles

New government backed pilot boosts EV chargepoint infrastructure
A new Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme, which is backed by £20 million of government and industry funding, has been launched to create new, commercial EV charging infrastructure for residents. The funding is expected to deliver over 1,000 public chargepoints across the following areas: Barnet, Dorset, Durham, Kent, Midlands Connect (with Lincolnshire as a lead authority), North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk, and Warrington.

Transport Scotland response to consultation on Scottish Building Regulations
Transport Scotland has published a response to the consultation on Scottish Building Regulations: Proposed Changes to Energy Standards Including Ventilation, Overheating and Electric Vehicle Charging Provision. As part of the proposals, all dwellings with a parking space will have at least one EV charge point socket with a minimum 7kW output power rating unless the additional cost of the electricity grid connection would exceed £2,000. Overall, the majority of the consultation responses were broadly supportive of the policy proposals and the proposed exemptions although some respondents advocated a higher minimum standard for the requirements set out for EV charge points.

Infrastructure

Government responds to report on Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration
HM Treasury has published the government's response to the National Infrastructure Commission report on how to maximise the benefits of infrastructure policy and investment for towns in England. The response addresses each of the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations, which primarily focus on transport and digital infrastructure.

Labour Market

DfT publishes summary of responses to consultation on transport labour market and skills
The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a summary of responses to its consultation seeking on the most significant labour market and skills challenges across the transport sector, which will be used to inform future strategy. The consultation considered the barriers and opportunities to developing skills and careers across the transport sector, in particular focusing on: boosting diversity, inclusion and social mobility; improving training and employment; promoting careers in transport; preparing for future skills; and building evidence and evaluating progress.

Rail Network

Transport committee report on integrated rail plan for the North and Midlands
The House of Commons Transport Committee has published a report detailing recommendations to the government on the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands. In its report, the Committee argued that a thorough reassessment of the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan is essential to ensure this once-in-a-generation investment in rail is not a missed opportunity to address regional imbalances. As part of this reassessment, the Committee has called for a full analysis of the wider economic impacts, and a full benefit-cost ratio, for the different Northern Powerhouse Rail options.

CMA responds to consultation on legislative changes to implement rail reform
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a response to the Department for Transport consultation on the necessary legislative changes to implement the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail. The CMA’s response sets out its advice to the Department for Transport including in response to proposals in relation to facilitating cooperation between operators and fostering competition in ticket retailing.

ORR responds to DfT consultation on primary legislative changes required to effect rail reform
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published a response to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) consultation on Legislation to Implement Rail Transformation, summarising the ORR's views on the reform proposals and the connected non-legislative work that will be needed to implement reform. The ORR has also published a response to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps on the subject of delivering a simpler, more efficient and more integrated railway.

ORR publishes conclusions on consultation on potential regulation of HS1 stations
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published the conclusions to its consultation on a potential new regulatory statement and a holding to account policy for CP3 following the Department for Transport's (DfT) proposal to transfer responsibility for the regulation of the four stations on the HS1 network to ORR.

MoU signed with Israel to share expertise on large scale rail projects
The Transport Secretary has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Israel to share expertise on large scale rail projects, following the successful launch of the UK’s Elizabeth Line earlier this year. The partnership is designed to create business opportunities and potential new jobs by extending the Department for Transport’s Crossrail International advisory company expertise overseas, enabling British engineers to team up with companies abroad.

Road Network

Final report on LHV trial feasibility study published
The Department of Transport has published the findings of a study reviewing the possibility of running a national trial of longer heavier vehicles (LHVs) within Great Britain, including whether the trial could be conducted and, if so, how it would be designed. The study considered LHVs as those up to 25.25 metres and between 50 and 60 tonnes in gross vehicle weight and concluded that a preparation and testing stage should commence immediately, before moving to a subsequent commercial road trial stage or concluding that an LHV trial is not feasible.

Shipping

Government details national maritime security strategy
The UK Government has published its latest national strategy for maritime security (NSMS) detailing the UK's approach to maritime security over the next 5 years. The NSMS sets out how the UK organises and uses its capabilities to identify, assess and address current maritime security challenges and builds on messages from the Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy and Maritime 2050 to deliver the following 5 strategic objectives: protecting our homeland; responding to threats; ensuring prosperity; championing values; and supporting a secure, resilient ocean.

Key Contacts

Paul Hirst

Paul Hirst

Partner, Infrastructure Projects and Co-head of Transport
United Kingdom

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Anna Sweeney

Anna Sweeney

Principal Knowledge Lawyer, Projects & Infrastructure
Leeds

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