I am today publishing our response to the comments received in the consultation on proposals to amend the criteria defining strategic national corridors (SNCs) and confirming the action we will take.
The strategic national corridors were established in 2009 to define the network over which the largest proportion of strategic traffic - that is traffic travelling between the 10 largest urban areas, 10 busiest ports and 7 busiest airports in England - moves around the country. The original definition also provided for connectivity between the 4 nations of the United Kingdom, but there was no specific provision for connecting capital cities.
We concluded that the routes linking Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast to the nearest urban strategic destination should be recognised for the strategic connectivity that they provide, and consulted accordingly. After taking account of the consultation responses I can now confirm that we are going ahead with this change.
Specifically, we identified 2 routes as having national significance: namely the A1 between its junction with the A19 north of Newcastle and the Scottish Border, providing a defined link to Edinburgh; and a route between Bootle and the 12 Quays ferry terminal in Birkenhead, providing connectivity with Belfast. Again, after taking account of the consultation responses, I can confirm that these routes will henceforth become roads of national significance.
A number of other suggestions were made for changes to the SNCs, including specific proposals for increases in coverage. My department will reconsider the scope and role of the SNCs once the LEPs are well established and their role in transport decision-making is clear.
The consultation documents, including the consultation response, can be found on my department’s website. An electronic copy has been lodged with the House library.