The Freight Transport Association has called on the government to ensure that infrastructure spending is protected, in anticipation of the Chancellor’s 2013 Spending Review outcome which is out next week.
It says investment rather than cuts, and encouraging private sector investment is the way to stimulate growth in the wider economy. This would also ensure that transport infrastructure networks can cope with future growth.
Although it expects the 2013 Spending Review to feature spending cuts, it points out that the coalition has placed emphasis on the need to invest in the UK’s infrastructure networks.
The FTA called on the government to:
* Increase the focus on protecting existing assets and encourage a more strategic approach to roads maintenance
* Target enhanced roads investment at the priority routes identified by FTA members, including reinstating projects currently ‘on-hold’ as a result of earlier spending cuts
* Continue to support improvements to rail freight facilities and ensure that track access charges remain at marginal cost
* Provide funds to share the cost of improvements linking private ports to public roads
* Ensure that the planning system takes full account of the national importance of schemes as well as the local implications
* Make a timely decision on additional airport capacity in the South East of England and to protect and increase night flight capability within the UK.
Karen Dee, director of policy said: “With competitiveness vital to securing economic growth and job creation, FTA believes that the measures it has put forward to the Chancellor would not only deliver long-term benefits through improved connectivity for UK industry, but would also provide a welcome additional boost to the economy during construction and give businesses the confidence necessary to invest, develop and innovate to support their customers.”