Britain needs a Brexit Infrastructure Bill to ensure the country has firm plans to upgrade transport connections to ports after leaving the European Union, the Dover MP Charlie Elphicke told a conference yesterday.
He said the UK needs to “get on and build without endless inquiries” because transport infrastructure to ports is needed “in the national interest”. The consequence of not having a plan could, he warned, be very serious.
The MP also called for the private sector to step in and build a Kent lorry park. “If the Department for Transport cannot build (a lorry park) they should allow the private sector to build it at a fraction of the cost to the taxpayer. We also need the Lower Thames Crossing, but we needed the crossing 10 years ago.”
He also remarked that it takes too long to build roads in this country, with too many people “worrying endlessly about bats and newts”.
Charlie Elphicke had earlier told the ‘Future of UK ports post Brexit’ event that ports, such as Dover, need to ensure borders are as frictionless as possible so as not to delay the movement of freight.
The conference also heard from the Chartered Institute for Logistics & Transport’s ports chair Sue Terpilowski. She called for greater investment in “last mile infrastructure” around UK ports and said transferring freight from road to rail must become a higher priority in a post Brexit world.
Legal firm Burges Salmon’s partner Elizabeth Dunn described ports as “the economic backbone of this country” and said ports need to do more to promote the case for investment in transport infrastructure such as lorry parks.