UK TRANSPORT BOOST: PM pledges more ‘levelling-up’ as Air Duty could be cut
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out his vision to ‘build back better’ from coronavirus by boosting transport connectivity across and between the whole of the UK, as part of ambitions to level up across the country.
The government will also consult on cutting Air Passenger Duty (APD) on internal UK flights and will commit £20 million to develop plans for upgraded rail, road, sea and air links.
To jump-start some of the projects identified, the government has today committed £20 million towards exploring the development of projects such as:
- improved rail connectivity between the north coast of Wales and England
- upgrading the A75 between Gretna, Dumfries and Stranraer – a key route for south-west Scotland and Northern Ireland but almost entirely single-carriageway
- significantly faster rail links from England to Scotland, including looking at options to enhance the West Coast Main Line
- rail improvements in south-east Wales, building on ideas from the Welsh Government’s Burns Commission
The government is also announcing that the consultation on aviation tax reform, announced at Budget 2020, will be published in spring 2021.
The consultation will include options to change the APD treatment for domestic flights, such as reintroducing a return leg exemption or creation of a new lower domestic rate.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
It’s now time to build back better in a way that brings every corner of the UK closer together. We will harness the incredible power of infrastructure to level up parts of our country that have too long been left off the transport map.
This pioneering review by Sir Peter Hendy gives us the tools we need to deliver on our ambitions for a UK-wide transport network that encompasses sea, rail, and road – and I also want to cut passenger duty on domestic flights so we can support connectivity across the country.
Watch the channel on TV