The Freight Transport Association (FTA), the UK’s largest membership association in the freight and logistics sector, has welcomed the commitment to increase investment in road and rail infrastructure by the three main political parties in their General Election manifestos. However, FTA has urged all parties to ensure this investment is made in a timely manner once the election is concluded, to ensure that road and rail freight can move seamlessly in the UK, and across Europe, to maintain the success of Britain’s trading partnerships.
“Poor infrastructure wastes time and money, holds back UK competitiveness and results in more emissions,” says Christopher Snelling, the FTA’s head of national policy. “If we are to maximise the efficiency of road freight and to make the most use we can of rail freight, we need massive continued investment in improving our networks. This is consistently identified by our members as the most important thing the next Government can deliver to make the UK’s logistics industry – and business as a whole – more efficient.
“Whichever party is successful at the polls on 8 June, it is imperative that they stand by their manifesto promises on entering government and take immediate steps to implement these infrastructure investment plans. This will ensure the continued success of the logistics industry in keeping Britain functioning every day.
“Logistics affects every part of our daily lives,” continues Snelling, “and without ensuring that significant levels of investment continue, UK business will be held back and costs in the shops will be higher. Politicians of all parties must ensure that their manifesto promises are upheld if the economy is to be rejuvenated once the electioneering comes to an end.”
The announcements from the three major parties are in line with the FTA’s own ‘manifesto’, which calls for increased investment for a more efficient and prosperous UK. It also calls on the next Government to cut fuel duty to boost UK economic activity, as well as securing barrier free and frictionless access to the EU market post Brexit.
“Reducing fuel duty by just 3p per litre would generate more than £304 million a year, by our estimates,” continues Snelling, “which would provide an immediate boost to the economy. At a time when our trading relationships with the European Union are under scrutiny, this level of investment would provide just the impetus British business needs to establish new trading relationships, and reinforce partnerships to ensure that Britain keeps trading.”