SPEND: FTA urge Chancellor to dig deep for growth
Significant capital spending on transport infrastructure is essential for economic growth, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) have warned, ahead of the 2013 Spending Review.
The Review’s outcome – for the period beginning April 2015 – is announced on June 26, and the FTA have urged Chancellor George Osborne to ensure infrastructure spending is protected.
Cautioning the Chancellor, the FTA claimed outlay in transport infrastructure and creating the right climate for private sector investment would stimulate wider economic growth.
They said any financial backing would ensure transport infrastructure networks could cope with changing demands once there is a return to growth.
A significant proportion of the annual £3billion capital spending – committed from 2015 onwards in the 2013 Budget – should include key transport infrastructure priorities, they insisted.
Submitting, the FTA claimed the government should provide investment and create the necessary policy certainty to allow the private sector to deliver where the government cannot.
FTA priorities within the submission include:
- Increase the focus on protecting existing assets and encourage a more strategic approach to road 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 at the FTA, 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.”
Image courtesy of Highways Agency, with thanks.