Britain’s manufacturers are calling on the government to spend more cash on repairing roads rather than focus funds on rail.
The call comes on the back of a major survey by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.
It reveals that the vast majority of Britain’s makers see road investment as a priority compared to just 6% backing rail.
Roger Salomone, EEF Head of Business Environment Policy, said: “Political prevarication and policy reversals have left Britain in the slow lane in developing its infrastructure for decades. The forthcoming transport strategy is an opportunity to address this.
“In particular, the road network is the backbone of the economy but, it has been neglected.
“We are now feeling the ill effects, with the majority of firms reporting that the state of the nation’s roads is significantly increasing their operating costs. Investment should be targeted at shovel-ready maintenance projects and bringing forward upgrades to heavily congested arteries.”
Key survey findings
· Four-fifths of manufacturers identify the road network as critical to their business.
· Half of manufacturers say that the state of the UK’s roads significantly increases their operating costs.
· Three-quarters of export-intensive manufacturers identify aviation infrastructure as important to identifying new business opportunities.
· Half of foreign-owned manufacturing businesses say aviation is a key factor in deciding where to invest.
· Two-thirds of export-intensive manufacturers identify investment in road access to international gateways, such as ports, as critical to their growth.
· A third of the most export-intensive firms say the state of the UK’s port infrastructure has significantly increased their operating costs.
· Less than a quarter of manufacturers say investment in high-speed rail is important to their company’s growth.