FTA welcomes £9.5bn infrastructure spend

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The Freight Transport Association has welcomed plans announced by chancellor George Osborne to invest £9.5 billion in UK infrastructure, for the period starting April 2015.

“We welcome the additional funding for infrastructure projects, and are anxious to work with the government to make sure it is invested in those projects on which economic recovery depends, said James Hookham, the FTA’s managing director, policy & communications.

The infrastructure plans were outlined by Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, in the Commons.

He said the need for a long-term infrastructure investment plan was vital in ensuring that Britain could compete in the global race.

“The government is right to recognise that transport investment is key to the economic recovery; however it is vital that the money made available today is put to work in the right places to deliver the biggest possible benefit to the country,” said Hookham.

Coolin  Desai, PwC’s UK head of transportation and logistics, said: “The Government has laid out an ambitious trajectory to get Britain back on the transport track. What industry will need to see now is a transparent and proactive action plan to support this – a plan that will be cohesive and integrate all transport in its approach.

“It is right that the chancellor recognises the need to update Britain’s  transport system. Action now is not only necessary, but vital. Securing infrastructure funding is one step in the right direction but let’s now see rapid progression in these projects to better connect our hubs around aviation, road and rail. We are indeed in a global race, competing with the likes of China and the Middle East, which are developing their transport and infrastructures at phenomenal rates. The government will be challenged not just on delivering schemes such as HS2 and Crossrail but on delivering efficiencies and value for money for the tax-paying public.”

The total investment includes more than £70 billion on transport, more than £20 billion in schools and £10 billion in science, housing and flood defences.

The government says it will triple the money spent on roads by 2020 to 2021, compared to 2013.

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