Winter Resilience Review

An independent review into the response of England’s transport system to severe winter weather was announced by Lord Adonis on 30 March; Lessons Learned from the Severe Weather of Winter 2009-10. The review, steered by a panel of three leading independent experts, will issue two reports considering the resilience of our Transport systems to periods of inclement weather. The first of these reports is due for publication in July.

The Review

The winter of 2009-10 was the coldest experienced by the UK for 30 years, with significant challenges being faced by both transport operators and users. While for the most part England’s transport systems coped well in the circumstances, it is important that lessons are learned to improve our resilience to future winters.

The Winter Resilience Review will consider practical measures to improve England’s response to severe weather across its transport systems – road, rail and air. Building upon previous studies, it will report in two parts, with the immediate focus being to identify measures that should be adopted in preparation for winter 2010-11. The second phase of the report, which is aimed at being published in the autumn, will move beyond this initial stage to consider wider aspects of resilience across the various transport modes.

The study will consider the views of transport users and stakeholders, the effectiveness of communications about travel conditions, and the contribution of weather forecasters. The panel is keen to hear testimony from concerned parties, and has issued a call for stakeholders to submit evidence as part of the consultancy phase of the review.

The review outcomes formally recommended to the Secretary of State for Transport will only apply to English authorities, but will take account of the wider UK context. The Scottish and Welsh administrations will be fully involved in the work of the review. It will be for Scottish and Welsh Ministers respectively to decide what action is required in those countries.