Fleet News

CBI chief's transport warning

BRITISH businesses face 'a decade of misery' unless the Government acts quickly and decisively to find solutions to congestion, one of Britain's leading business figures has warned.

The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) director-general, Digby Jones, issued the warning as he savaged the Government's progress on its 10-year Transport Plan.

Speaking at the publication of the CBI's annual review of the transport plan, Jones said: 'Ministers need to show resolve by reinforcing the plan.

'It is behind schedule and, even if completed, it won't now reduce congestion. But abandoning it would be worse.

'That would just sentence road users to another decade of transport misery. To be globally competitive and to become more productive UK business needs to get its goods to market and people to work.

'Some projects have been completed but the perception is that they have made little difference to the daily experience of most transport users.'

He added: 'Congestion on key parts of the road network is worse than before the plan was launched and performance on the railways has yet to return to the levels of the late 1990s.

'As a result, businesses lack the confidence they need to make investment decisions that are vital for future growth and the continued economic success of the UK.

'The Government must overcome its credibility problem on delivery by acting quickly and decisively to deliver transport schemes that can make a noticeable difference to users.

'That means better management of what we have and the speeding up of schemes in the pipeline.

'In the longer term, the Government must take tough decisions on major projects, future funding and the role of road user charging.

'Transport matters as much as health and education. It affects the quality of life of just as many voters. Business and the public alike need the Government to deliver.'

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