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Can the UK’s transport infrastructure cope with our efforts to double exports by 2020?

Transport InfrastructureWith UK exports close to all-time highs, the country is showing signs that it can avoid a triple-dip recession, according to a survey by the British Chamber of Commerce.

The quarterly economic survey of more than 7,000 businesses, showed that the economy has made progress, and that exports were performing particularly well, with deliveries and orders near the all-time peak level seen in 1994.

However, the first transport survey by manufacturers’ organisation EEF, shows that our stretched transport infrastructure could be hindering the UK industry’s efforts. The government’s target is to double exports to £1tn a year by 2020, but do UK companies feel that investment is being made in the areas which should be a priority?

We spoke with Bart O’Sullivan Business Development Manager at Ennis Construction. He explained: “Over the past few months we have heard plenty about the government’s plans for High Speed rail links, however there is a feeling amongst businesses that our road network is being neglected. We all drive over pot holes on a daily basis, but unless you’re in the transport and manufacturing industry, you don’t realise the operational cost implications these have.”

The survey found that four out of five businesses rely on the road network and it is critical to their business and fifty per cent said that the state of the roads significantly increases their operating costs.

Bart continued; “According to the EEF’s survey, the rail network was seen as a priority for just 6% of companies, yet rail investment currently attracts 30% more funding than roads. UK businesses will be looking at the forthcoming transport strategy to address this and hopefully provide some rebalance.”

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