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COVID-19 Update 16th November 2020

  • Union Connectivity Review and Call for Evidence

The government published the terms of reference for a review that Sir Peter Hendy has been asked to undertake on how the quality and availability of transport infrastructure across the UK can support economic growth and improve quality of life for British people. The review will consider:

    • the quality and reliability of major connections across the UK
    • likely current and future demand for transport links
    • the environmental impact of policy options (including with regard to climate change)
    • existing work completed by the government on cross-UK connectivity

The review will also consider the work across modes to restart and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Aviation Recovery Plan. The intention is to deliver an interim report in January 2021 and a final report setting out recommendations in summer 2021.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/union-connectivity-review-terms-of-reference/union-connectivity-review-terms-of-reference

 

Following the publication of the Terms of reference there is also a call for evidence which seeks information on:

    • the importance of cross-border transport links to existing growth strategies
    • appraisal methodologies and how these can support investment in cross-border transport
    • specific journeys with the potential for improvement, and the cost and feasibility of these
    • the potential development of a pan-UK strategic transport network
    • non-physical changes to support cross-border connectivity such as service provision or financial support
    • the social and environmental impact of additional or improved transport links
    • the UK’s ability to deliver a truly national transport strategy
    • the feasibility and need for a fixed link between Northern Ireland and Great Britain
    • any other relevant information

The call for evidence will run until 30 December 2020. If you have anything you would like to feed in to a tourism alliance response, please let me know.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/union-connectivity-review-call-for-evidence/union-connectivity-review-call-for-evidence

 

  • Environment Agency Update

The Environment Agency has updated its guidance clarifying the people should not undertake unnecessary travel on the waterways and that they are not permitted to overnight on any boat that is not their home during the lock-down period.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-environment-agency-update

 

  • LRSG Query

With councils opening applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) I’m getting a number of queries regarding the eligibility criteria. There seems to have been a template produced for councils and that states the following:

To qualify, your business must have been:

    • open as usual before the November lockdown restrictions, and
    • providing services in person to customers from the premises, and
    • required to close due to restrictions imposed by government, and
    • paying business rates for the premises before restrictions started

The question whether the requirement to “provide services in person to customers from the premises” means that various forms of self-catering businesses are not eligible for the grant unless someone is permanently on site. The understanding is that this requirement is to exclude businesses where the customer does not enter the business premises such as OTAs and Head Offices but I’ve asked DCMS to clarify and will confirm that this is the case.

agto@agto.co.uk
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