The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK has told new secretary of state for transport, Philip Hammond, that he must protect transport investment from spending cuts.
CILT says the road and rail infrastructure must be adequately maintained and where possible developed to sustain and support the recovery for the recession.
Chief executive Steve Agg said: “We very much hope that [Hammond] will be in post for rather more than the unacceptable average of just twenty months which we have seen in this job over so many years. Transport requires high government priority, recognition of its value and contribution, commitment, and long-term investment.
“The efficiency and economic operation of the supply chain constitutes a vital ingredient in the conduct of the whole economy and must be given maximum government support to perform at the best possible level. And the same conditions apply to the movement of people.
“As the economy recovers, and it is in all of our interests that it does as soon as possible, we will see growing pressures on our transport infrastructures, notably our roads network. It is therefore essential, not only that adequate levels of investment are retained to maximise the efficient condition and operation of the roads which we presently have, but that we take practical steps to increase and improve capacity and performance on the key inter-urban routes and congestion pinch-points.
“It is disappointing that the new government seems to have turned its face against investigating the possibility of innovative means of fund raising for roads investment such as road pricing – the present levels of taxation raised from fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty are unacceptably high, and do not represent good value for road users.
“The disproportionate level of taxation enforced by the previous government was grossly unfair, particularly in respect of freight operators moving goods and services for the benefit of the economy. However, we do, of course, recognise that funds must be raised, and as such, CILT believes that new strategies must be adopted for both road user taxation and consequential infrastructure investment.”