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An independent review aimed at improving transport infrastructure links between Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England has been launched this week.

Led by Sir Peter Hendy, the review will look at road, rail, air and sea links and make recommendations as to how the government can improve connectivity between the four nations and help the economy recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sir Peter’s former roles include chair of Network Rail and head of TfL during the Olympics.

The review will also consider future technologies and assess environmental impacts of current and future infrastructure. Sir Peter will be expected to publish his final recommendations in the summer of 2021.

The review is part of a wider government strategy to bring forward funding to accelerate infrastructure projects in the devolved nations – by identifying opportunities for ‘spades in the ground’ ready projects to help build up communities and create employment opportunities.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Connecting our towns, cities and communities through better transport links is at the heart of this government’s work to fuel our economic recovery. That’s why we need to look at how we can improve the transport landscape across the UK, levelling up people’s access to work and education, and bringing communities closer together.”

Hendy said: “Connectivity drives economic growth, jobs and housing. Improving links across the UK on the basis of the wider economic benefits that increased investment will deliver will be of benefit to everyone in the UK, and I’m thus very pleased to lead this work.”

Responding to the announcement, Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at Logistics UK, said: “To be competitive, UK PLC needs and deserves efficient, effective transport infrastructure that enables the movement of goods and services to the businesses that need them without delays.

“Transport infrastructure must be prioritised as the UK currently lags the rest of the world, and the right investment has the potential to transform economic performance at a regional as well as national level.

"Logistics UK has been highlighting the transformative role of logistics in the levelling up agenda and looks forward to working with the review to identify how connectivity and capacity can be improved and enhanced to benefit the movement of freight, as well as people.”