Monday, 26 November 2007 12:00 AM
The Construction Products Association today welcomed the high political priority given by the Prime Minister to improving the UK's transport infrastructure, and the importance he placed on taking the right long term decisions now, for a more successful tomorrow.
In its recent report "Achievable Targets, is Government Delivering?" the Association has shown that for eight of the last ten years, construction output on transport infrastructure has fallen, whilst construction of new and improved roads is at its lowest for a quarter of a century. The Association therefore welcomes the Prime Minister's promise to step up investment, but urges Brown to ensure delivery of this infrastructure.
Commenting on the announcement, Allan Wilén, Economics Director at the Association, said: "Historically investment in transport infrastructure has been poor and this is undermining UK competitiveness; the World Economic Forum recently ranked the overall competitiveness of the UK's infrastructure, at thirteenth, behind the Netherlands and Sweden."
The Achievable Targets report found that construction of new and improved roads is now at its lowest for a quarter of a century and the current pace of progress is proving insufficient to accommodate traffic growth and curb congestion. Of particular concern is that six years into the ten year programme only 40% of the promised 360 miles to widen the network have been completed. Investment is also urgently required to provide the necessary rail network capacity to accommodate increased passenger numbers and freight traffic.
Concluding Wilén said: "We welcome the Prime Minister's commitment today and the recognition that solid investment in the transport infrastructure is necessary. The Association has recommended that the government's longer term strategy should provide a clear programme of capacity enhancements that will enable both the rail and road networks to accommodate the demands of a growing economy."