Poor transport system holding back UK plc

The
Government’s failure to improve the transport system is tarnishing the UK’s
reputation as a place to do business, according to a new report by the CBI.

The
report, Is transport holding the UK back?, says more than 85 per cent of senior
business people believe investment decisions are influenced by the quality of
transport, while almost 70 per cent consider the UK transport system to be
poor.

The
report says all leading economies struggle to deliver infrastructure projects
and ease congestion, but UK roads are the most packed in Europe and UK railways
are less reliable than many other competitors.

Nineteen
per cent of UK drivers experience congestion on a routine basis, compared with
7 per cent in France and 4 per cent in Germany, and 83 per cent rail reliability
in the UK compares with 93 per cent in the US and 91 per cent in France and
Germany.

CBI
Deputy Director-General John Cridland said: "Our competitors are pressing
home their advantage. France is leading the way with its high-speed TGV rail
network while the UK faces a 4,000-mile rail-replacement backlog.

"If
the Government does not invest in the UK transport system, international
companies will not invest in the UK," he said. "Ministers must ensure
money is spent wisely, implementing projects that deliver real improvements on
budget and on time."

By Michael Millar

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