Cautious Industry Welcome as Government Recommits to Planned Investment in Road Infrastructure

UK freight and logistics business organisations have reacted positively, in the main, to the news that the UK Government has confirmed a commitment by the previous administration to invest £25 billion in England’s road transport infrastructure, while cautioning that a no-deal Brexit would undermine positive plans.

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has cautiously welcomed the news with the BIFA Director General Robert Keen saying, “BIFA has said repeatedly that it is imperative that new road building and road reconstruction projects are not only implemented, but developed in such a way as to maximise their functionality.”

“Whilst the announcement does not appear to be additional funding to that announced by the previous administration, it does offer some clarity on where the funds will be spent between 2020 and 2025, with 14 of England’s major roads being upgraded, including the widening of the A12, that key artery to and from the port of Felixstowe.”

UK business body CBI welcomed some of the statements by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the 2019 Conservative Party Conference, but said they failed to address the elephant in the room – Brexit.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, said: “The Chancellor has put his money on a modern, connected, low carbon economy, which is exactly what business wanted to hear. But it feels like there was a page missing from his speech. It was silent on how the Government and the Treasury would respond to the serious rupture caused by failing to secure a deal with the EU – and the implications for the investments he announced today.”

On infrastructure investment plans, she said: “Too many parts of the UK road network are blighted by logjams making life unnecessarily difficult for people and businesses. The UK has under-invested for too long, so business will welcome these much-needed upgrades.”