Following the 2013 to 2014 winter of sustained wet and windy weather, I invited Richard Brown OBE to chair a review of the resilience of our transport networks to extreme weather events. The review was published in July and today (27 November 2014) I am publishing the government’s response.
Richard Brown’s Review examined the resilience of our major transport modes, assessed lessons learned and put forward more than 60 recommendations to improve resilience both in the short term and long term. The majority of recommendations quite rightly addressed the impacts of last winter’s weather which resulted in flooding, damage to transport assets and disruption to passenger services. The review did not look at the impacts of snow and ice as these were covered in the Quarmby review of 2010.
We accept the recommendations made in the review, and the response published today sets out in detail the actions being taken forward by government and transport owners and operators to improve the resilience of our transport infrastructure and its operations. Good progress has been made since the review’s publication. Wherever possible actions have been put in place in advance of this winter, whilst other resilience activities have been planned for delivery as soon as practicable. Areas covered include:
- asset management
- economics and funding
- supporting infrastructure
- user behaviour
- vegetation management
- weather forecasting
Whilst there will always be vulnerabilities to our transport networks from extreme weather, the review has served to join up a lot of the existing work on resilience across transport modes and has prompted transport operators to take immediate action which should put them in an enhanced state of readiness to respond and recover from future severe weather events.
My department will monitor the progress of the resilience activities set out in the government response, and will provide a supplementary report next year to provide an update on the delivery of the actions highlighted in the response.
Copies of the government response can be found in the libraries of both Houses and will be available on GOV.UK.