The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the Government announcement that it will now use the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) to support regional, inter-regional and local schemes that are beneficial to national productivity.
The FTA says that the shift in policy recognises that action is needed to tackle transport infrastructure problems and that road and rail schemes previously regarded as unaffordable could now be revived. The previous rules appeared to target funding specifically at road pricing or similar, but it now appears that the TIF has been extended to incorporate schemes which will benefit national productivity, including infrastructure building.
FTA repeats its longstanding view that the provision of an adequate national infrastructure of road and rail trade routes is a key ingredient in the health of the economy and the efficiency of the transport industry, endeavouring to deliver that economy on increasingly congested networks.
Stephen Kelly, FTA’s head of policy for Midlands, Wales and South West, said: “The new rules suggest increasing Government recognition of the need to make improvements to the capacity of the strategic road and rail networks as soon as possible.”
“FTA has closely engaged with Regional Development Agencies to identify the key needs of UK industry via the production of priorities for national and regional trade routes of significant importance. The early dedication of funds from the TIF to those key routes will help contain the increase in congestion forecast for the next two decades.”