David Brennan, managing director at LeasePlan UK, the UK division of the world’s leading vehicle fleet management company, said: “Road travel is a necessity, not a luxury, for many businesses.
"These organisations make a substantial tax contribution to the Treasury and in return they should be able to drive on roads that are fit for purpose.
"Businesses should not incur additional wear and tear costs on their vehicles because the roads are in a bad state.
“LeasePlan welcomes the government’s commitment to invest in UK road infrastructure, but introducing more toll roads is not the solution.
"The M6 Toll has highlighted the shortfalls of this policy initiative. Faced with some of the highest charges in Europe, motorists are still opting for the neighbouring M6, where traffic levels are rising.
"Tackling congestion is important, but it must not come at an additional cost to business drivers – many of whom will be unwilling to pay.”
On fuel prices, Brennan said: “Soaring fuel prices are already placing a severe financial strain on businesses at a time when they are already under economic pressures.
"The Chancellor’s decision to retain August’s duty hike imposes a further burden.
"This short-sighted move threatens to undermine Britain’s economic recovery if business mobility becomes prohibitively expensive.”
On business tax, he said: “The Government’s proposals for greater investment in UK businesses are a welcome development.
"Tax cuts and credit-easing will be a significant help to many businesses at a time when the UK economy remains fragile.
"From our own experience and what we hear from our clients, LeasePlan is optimistic that 2012 will, on balance, bring greater confidence to the SME sector.”