Here is your monthly round-up of the key transport developments in February 2021. Highlights include: the latest decarbonisation initiatives, including the innovative West Midlands Mobility Credits scheme; the go-ahead for HS2 Phase 2a to Crewe; and even looking out into space, with a consultation on minimising space junk and a 'space bridge' between the UK and Australia.

Aviation

Future airspace strategy implementation: assessment of iterations

A Civil Aviation Authority and Department for Transport publication assesses the first iteration of the Future Airspace Strategy Implementation Masterplan, which focuses on the southern UK. Publication of the feedback on the first iteration of the masterplan was delayed from Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brexit

The Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/135) The purpose of this instrument is to remedy deficiencies in retained European Union (EU) law arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, in the field of drivers’ hours and tachographs for the carriage of goods and passengers by road.

Explanatory Memorandum

 

The future operation of the Channel Tunnel Fixed Link: Thirty-Sixth Report of Session 2019-21

The European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons has made a series of recommendations on the way safety rules are set for the Channel Tunnel. The recommendations are contained in a new report, Brexit: The future operation of the Channel Tunnel Fixed Link.

 

Briefing paper: Driving in the EU after Brexit

A briefing paper by the House of Commons Library considers issues raised by new requirements for UK licence holders driving within the EU, and for EU licence holders driving in the UK. This includes new driving licence and insurance requirements.

 

 

Decarbonisation

Glasgow is rising to the green challenge

AG Partner Sarah Baillie has written for The Herald about Glasgow's efforts to become a

 

carbon-neutral city within the next ten years. Following the council's declaration of a climate emergency, the city is rolling out a number of policy initiatives to help support its net zero ambitions, offering economic opportunity across the city region as well as the transport, energy and real estate sectors. Among the proposals is a new metro system, which Transport Scotland announced would be considered as a spending priority in the new strategic transport project review.

 

Sixth Carbon Budget published

The Climate Change Committee has set out its Sixth Carbon Budget which provides ministers with advice on the volume of greenhouse gases the UK can emit during the period 2033-37. Key recommendations to meet the Sixth Carbon Budget include the take-up of low-carbon transport solutions, among other things: for example, by the early 2030s all new cars and vans are low-carbon (mostly electric) and by 2040 all new trucks are low-carbon.

 

Pilot study to be launched to pay motorists up to £3,000 in public transport credits to give up their cars

Transport for West Midlands is designing a £1 million Mobility Credits scheme, ahead of a trial in Coventry next year. Motorists who take part will be asked to give up using their cars and in return be given between £1,500 and £3,000 worth of mobility credits to spend, using a smartphone app or Swift travel card, on public transport, taxis, bike share or a car

club. The project, the first of its kind in the UK, is designed to get polluting cars off the road, ease traffic congestion and improve air quality.

Electric Vehicles

The Capital Allowances Act 2001 (Car Emissions) (Extension of First-year Allowances) (Amendment) Order (SI 2021/120)

ln force: 1 April 2021

This order amends CO2 emissions threshold for three enhanced capital allowances (ECA) and extends the availability of these ECAs until March/April 2025.

Explanatory Memorandum

 

Consultation: The consumer experience at public electric vehicle chargepoints

A Department for Transport and Office for Zero Emission Vehicles consultation is seeking views on policy proposals to improve the consumer experience for electric vehicle drivers at public chargepoints. The proposals are aimed at introducing regulations that improve the consumer experience in the following four areas: making it easier to pay, opening up chargepoint data, using a single payment metric, and ensuring a reliable network at public chargepoints. Consultation ends: 10 April 2021.

 

Call for evidence on low emission cars

The Public Accounts Committee seeks evidence to inform its inquiry into the value-for- money of government's spending on low emissions cars to date, and whether the government is well-placed to achieve its long-term ambitions for zero-emission cars.

Consultation ends: 4 March 2021.

 

 

HS2

High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Act 2021 (Granted Royal Assent)

An Act to make provision for a railway between a junction with Phase One of High Speed 2, near Fradley Wood in Staffordshire, and a junction with the West Coast Main Line near Crewe in Cheshire; and for connected purposes. Granted Royal Assent: 11 February 2021

 

The High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) (Nomination) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/148)

In force: 12 February 2021

Explanatory Note

 

Environmental minimum requirements for HS2 Phase 2a

A policy paper on the government’s environmental and sustainability commitments that accompany the High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) Act 2021.

Ports

Freeports and Green Ports: the English and Scottish approaches

Freeports are coming to the UK, but the Scottish government is taking a different approach to England. Scotland is working on an application prospectus for green ports, to support Scotland's decarbonisation ambitions: it will be published this quarter so that it dovetails with UK Government plans for establishing Freeports in England. This article discusses the latest developments.

 

 

Shipping

New BIMCO clause encourages bulk sector to embrace 'just in time' arrival concept As part of efforts to encourage wider adoption of 'just in time' arrival principles in the bulk sector, BIMCO has published a new clause for voyage charter parties. The clause promotes more efficient shipping procedures and, as a result, will help reduce CO2 emissions.

 

Shipping industry takes new step to protect marine environments

BIMCO and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have published the first industry standard on in-water cleaning of ships. It is the first industry standard on in-water cleaning of ships, designed to address the risks surrounding the transfer of invasive species to local marine environments when cleaning a ship's submerged parts.

Space

‘Space Bridge’ across the world will help UK and Australia get ahead in global space race

The UK and Australia have signed a new ‘Space Bridge’ partnership to increase knowledge exchange and investment across the two countries’ space sectors. 

 

Commercial spaceflight: consultation on environmental objectives for the spaceflight regulator

A Department for Transport consultation is seeking views on draft environmental objectives the government proposes to set for the UK spaceflight regulator and the associated guidance on how the regulator should implement these objectives. Consultation ends: 24 March 2021.