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26.11.12

Investing in transport could deliver £86bn for economy – BCC

Infrastructure investment is being delivered too slowly, with a number of projects delayed or on hold that could bring significant economic returns to the UK, a new report suggests.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published a map which tracks progress on 13 top projects highlighted for work ahead of the 2010 General Election. Spending £30bn on these projects would generate £86bn for the economy, the BCC argues.

Stalled projects include the contentious third runway at Heathrow and work on the A14, while six others are either on hold or under discussion. These include key stations on the East Coast Main Line and improvements to the M4 in Wales.

Adam Marshall, the BCC's director of policy, said: “Transport infrastructure is critical to business growth but progress on the investment promised by successive governments continues to be too slow. Whenever key decisions to improve capacity on the country's rail, road and air networks are delayed, our businesses and economy are missing out.

“We need bold action from the government to improve the UK's transport infrastructure. This kind of investment is insulated from global uncertainty, and it creates short-term confidence, jobs in the medium term, and improves the UK's competitiveness in the long term.

“Ministers must use all the powers at their disposal to kickstart these projects. In some cases, that will mean using the government's balance sheet to unlock private funding, and in others, it will mean using planning powers to overcome objectives and speed the process of construction.”

The map is available at: www.britishchambers.org.uk/assets/downloads/policy_reports_2010/business_transport_priorities.pdf

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