He was speaking at the publication of the CBI's 'Transport Agenda 1998/99,' the organisation's official response to the integrated transport white paper. This reflects the views of hundreds of companies, and found concern that too little was being done in the short term to tackle the country's transport problems.
It urges the Government to speed up road maintenance and improvements, and to introduce road tolls selectively with the revenues raised used to fund transport investment. 'Transport Agenda 1998/99' also opposes the fuel duty escalator, saying the UK already has one of the highest rates of fuel duty in Europe, and that this is harming the country's competitiveness.
It supports the Government's long-term aim of reducing car dependency and improving public transport. The report says: 'To do this investment needs to increase by £2.5 billion a year, with two thirds of this amount coming from public funding. Without more investment an integrated transport strategy will fail at the first hurdle.'