30 Aug 2023
UK businesses need an 'integrated national plan' on transport infrastructure from the government that focusses on a minimum of 20 years, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
In written evidence to the Transport Select Committee, the BCC said weaknesses in the current system are creating barriers for businesses, hindering growth and slowing down the progress towards net zero.
The Committee has launched an inquiry into the government's strategic transport objectives.
The BCC said that feedback from the 53 chambers highlighted that any transport plan must include the following:
- efficient road and rail access to international gateways that are essential to enable international trade
- increased reliability, capacity and connectivity in passenger rail services, including the delivery of the full HS2 network and affordable, flexible fares and ticketing
- more investment in local bus and public transport services.
Jane Gratton, Deputy Director of Public Policy at the BCC, said: 'An effective transport network will underpin economic growth in the years to come. We want to see a clear plan from government, which will help the businesses we represent grow.
'Central government should lead on major national infrastructure planning and delivery, like HS2. However, for regional infrastructure, funding and decision making should be devolved.
'Businesses tell our chamber network that transport policy from Westminster has been very patchy and unclear. We need an integrated transport infrastructure plan that can bring real benefits to every region.'