The British Ports Association (BPA) today launched a major new review of UK port connectivity in order to highlight to government and local authorities where post-coronavirus investment in infrastructure can be concentrated in order to maximise economic growth and speed up the recovery.
It will look at infrastructure outside of ports such as road and rail links, but also broadening out to assess energy and digital capabilities, according to a BPA statement released today.
It has invited ports to submit an inventory of required external improvements to connectivity infrastructure – and will look at digital connectivity and energy capacity in addition to transport needs.
“Covid-19 has demonstrated the resilience of the UK supply chain – as ports worked efficiently through the pandemic and kept the nation supplied, despite the economic downturn taking a toll on the sector, as it did with many others. However, now more than ever it is critical to consider where government investment can be targeted to unlock growth and provide a boost to the economy. The BPA will be laying out the inventory of works before government,” says Phoebe Warneford-Thomson, Policy and Economic Analyst at the British Ports Association, who is leading the Review.
BPA explains that UK ports are commercially managed, operating strategically and financially independent of Government. “With very few exceptions, UK port infrastructure investments are privately financed; investments are market-led and £1.7bn is currently in the pipeline around the UK. Ports ask for very little from the Government but do rely on public investment in external infrastructure to stay competitive,” says Warneford-Thomson.