Major transport projects crucial for economic growth

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Government

Urgent action is needed on a range of transport projects in order to boost business growth across the UK, it has been claimed.

An assessment from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) suggests progress on priority transport projects is taking place too slowly.

Dr Adam Marshall, director of policy at the BCC, commented that transport infrastructure is "critical to business growth", and whenever key decisions to improve capacity on the country’s rail, road and air networks are delayed, companies and the economy are missing out.

"Even where projects have been given the go-ahead in Westminster, progress is typically slow and in too many cases is mired in the planning stages," he stated.

Dr Marshall claimed that "bold action" is needed from the government to improve the UK’s transport infrastructure.

"This kind of investment is insulated from global uncertainty, and it creates short-term confidence, jobs in the medium term, and improves the UK’s competitiveness in the long term," he stated.

Ministers must use all the powers at their disposal to kick-start these lay projects, the expert claimed.

"In some cases, that will mean using the government’s balance sheet to unlock private funding, and in others, it will mean using planning powers to overcome objections and speed the process of construction," he stated.

Dr Marshall claimed that ministers understand the need for infrastructure investment, but said their welcome commitment is not yet translating into action on the ground.

Posted by Dan Smith