BIFA, the British International Freight Association, has welcomed the news in the UK Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement that transport capital spending will increase by 50% to a total of £61 billion, funding the largest road investment programme since the 1970s.
BIFA Director General, Robert Keen, says: “There has been a distinct lack of investment in the UK road infrastructure network over the past few years. This lack of spending has caused the country’s network of A roads and motorways to become congested, undermining the UK’s competitiveness in comparison to its international peers.
“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. So, today’s news will be warmly welcomed by BIFA members, which as freight forwarders, use these roads to move Britain’s visible domestic and international trade. We are now hopeful that talk of infrastructure investment will cease to be just talk and we will see some spades in the ground.
“BIFA Members that use the Cross Channel services will also be pleased at the news that £250 million will be spent on facilities in Kent to relieve the pressure on roads in Kent created when Operation Stack is in place.
“However, those members will be disappointed that Mr Osborne did not cut fuel duty. Whilst, the fact that he did not even mention fuel duty effectively means that the fuel duty freeze of the last five years continues, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is probably now a fiscal platform for him to increase duty in next April’s Budget.”
BIFA will also be looking closely at where the 37% cuts in the Department for Transport’s operational budget will fall.