FTA presses government on transport investment

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The Freight Transport Association has called on the government to recognise the importance of continued investment in key transport infrastructure projects ahead of the comprehensive spending review, due to be published on Wednesday, 20th October. 

In its submission to the government at the beginning of September, it identified a series of road and rail schemes that it believes must be spared the axe in the interests of maintaining the UK’s economic recovery and ensuring future international competitiveness.

It has argued that a transport network that is fit for purpose is a pre-requisite for any successful economy, with road and rail infrastructure linking people to jobs and products to markets. 

Theo de Pencier, chief executive, said: “FTA has already made it very clear that cutting capital spending on infrastructure would be a huge mistake, especially for an economy still struggling to free itself from the grip of recession.

“As the fate of key road and rail projects hangs in the balance we must make it clear that any short-term savings made by curtailing investment have to be weighed against the longer term costs of increased congestion and unreliability in the supply chain – a matter made more pressing by expected rises in traffic levels.”

The FTA reckons that congestion represents a huge cost to the economy, and that by 2025 it could cost freight and other road users in England alone £25 billion more per year than it did in 2003, according to the Eddington Transport Study. 

It is stressing the need for targeted investment in new infrastructure capacity and the development of technology to get the best out of the existing network.

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