Release Date:
Release ID: 4837

Trust in industry to take the lead, FTA urges Hammond

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has set out where it thinks government should be directing its future transport spending and how industry-led initiatives can be trusted to achieve greater results.

In a letter to Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, the leading trade body underpinned the value of infrastructure investment to the UK’s economic recovery and urged him to consider more closely using existing industry-driven initiatives in the best interests of UKPLC.

FTA’s CEO, Theo de Pencier, said:

“As economic activity begins to grow so to will levels of congestion and, with it, unreliability. Investment in transport schemes has been proven to yield very impressive returns, in some cases achieving ratios of £8 for every £1 spent by government.

“Signs indicate that freight activity is on the rise again and we need a transport network that is fit for purpose otherwise the cost to the economy could be enormous: the Eddington Transport Study estimated that increasing congestion in England alone could leave a £25 billion hole in the coffers every year well into the 2020s.”

Encouragingly, in his emergency budget statement on 22 June, the Chancellor re-affirmed that well judged capital spending by government provides the new infrastructure needed to compete in the world economy. George Osborne also identified the mistake made in the recession of the early 1990s when the then government cut capital spending too much.

de Pencier concluded:

“We are pleased that the government recognises that cutting capital spending on infrastructure can be counter productive when the economy is in dire straits – if the public purse is not an option then perhaps private sector funding can provide the answer for much-needed transport infrastructure investment.

“Equally, industry’s role in delivering a brighter future must not be undervalued. From accreditation to best practice delivery, from sensible self-regulation to administering testing and licence issues, there is much that FTA and others could do more cheaply and more efficiently than government.”
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