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News - 3 November 2007

Survey shows that transport improvements cannot be delayed

We didn’t really need a survey to tell us that congestion is costing the country millions. The British Chambers of Commerce is hoping that some hard facts may help to persuade the Government that something needs to be done urgently.

For some commentators the Government has been saying ‘if’, ‘might’ or ‘maybe’ for too long and, as far as future transport policy is concerned, many maintain that there is an urgent need to increase capacity. The results of the British Chambers of Commerce 2007 Annual Transport Survey would appear to support this view.

Congestion has added £550 million to business costs in the last year, according to the latest BCC Survey of 2,701 businesses across the UK. The costs of congestion have risen from £17 billion to £17.55 billion between 2006 and 2007.

The BCC Survey reports that three-quarters of UK businesses depend on the road network and that 84% have experienced increased operating costs as a result of increasing road congestion.

The Survey goes on to report that 83% of businesses have reported lost man-hours as a result of congestion and 60% have lost business.

David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said, “The Comprehensive Spending Review was the ideal opportunity for the Government to show how serious it really is about spending more money on transport. The lack of a substantial increase in investment indicates that the ideas released today will remain on the drawing board for a long time.

“The survey results clearly show that the rising levels of congestion are harming business competitiveness. If congestion continues to rise at this level then the increased costs for business will amount to £6 billion.

“UK businesses cannot remain competitive if they lose time, trade and money through rising transport congestion. What business needs is for the Government to start delivering on the major transport infrastructure projects that this country needs.”

Read related items on:
National policy
British Chamber of Commerce
Frost, David

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