The Freight Transport Association (FTA) – the country’s biggest transport trade body representing half the UK fleet – says the Government’s new transport investment plan is good news for the sector but more investment is needed to upgrade the road network.
The policy, announced yesterday (4 July 2017), dedicates funds raised from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) to road improvements. The money can be used for major local authority roads as well as the Strategic Road Network but FTA says it cannot not be the sole solution to finance future road infrastructure projects.
FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy Christopher Snelling said: “FTA believes that the government focus on investing in roads that will deliver improved performance, economic growth and reduce bottlenecks is correct. Enhanced road infrastructure can only make Britain’s logistics network and business dealings more efficient.
“Major local authority roads form a crucial part of the road network so our members welcome the news that the new fund can be allocated to support a wider range of projects. However, this extension of use will undoubtedly mean greater calls on one pot of money, so the Government will need to support infrastructure investment beyond just that provided by VED.”
The announcement focuses on road spending but FTA understands the approach affects all aspects of transport expenditure.
Mr Snelling commented: “To help deliver the industrial and trading success the UK wants for the future, the Government needs to deliver a flexible transport network as a whole, not just roads. This must mean continued investment in rail infrastructure and also the delivery of the expansion of Heathrow. It is welcome that these areas will also be addressed with this approach.”