FTA: U.K. government must take responsibility for improving rails, roads
The United Kingdom’s Freight Transport Association told a governmental agency reviewing national ports policy that the government must take responsibility for road and rail infrastructure improvements to cope with the anticipated growth of U.K. ports.
“The growth of U.K. ports facilities needed over the next 10 years to match the growth in the U.K. economy has to be supported by the government in the provision of a road and rail infrastructure robust enough to handle the increased traffic,” the FTA said in a submission to the Department for Transport’s Discussion Document for the Ports Policy Review.
“Goods moving into the U.K. from the European Union, China, India and Eastern Europe will require efficient and economic movement to their U.K. inland destinations. Failure to provide the necessary infrastructure will result in congestion and cost increases, seriously affecting the competitiveness of the U.K. economy.
“FTA says that the government cannot ignore the greater economic benefits from private port developments. Whilst it is not for government to decide where it wants the freight to flow, and where it wants the private developments needed to support the transport of freight and goods, it is the proper role of government to facilitate the developments. In this respect the government must undertake an urgent overhaul of the unnecessarily lengthy planning approval system which adds uncertainty and discourages investment in ports infrastructure,” the FTA said.
The FTA suggested that the U.K. government regularly commission and review demand forecasts from independent sources to identify key corridors of freight movement that should become priority projects. “This priority list will represent enhancements to those parts of the transport network that will be funded through the public purse within a stated time frame,” the FTA said.
“The decision-making process that determines what is and is not a priority, or of national strategic importance, should be made transparent, with justifications based on a transparent and equitable value for money appraisal mechanism so as to prevent challenges of unfair distortion of the market or representing state aid for a given private development,” the FTA said.