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Transport Infrastructure Hits Headlines Again

Corin CraneOne of the longest-standing UK policy debates made national headlines again on October 18th. Transport infrastructure has long constrained British businesses. Whether it is lost productivity time through commuter jams, or the haulage industry missing delivery targets, the issue of congestion across the country is reaching a critical point. The Black Country Chamber of Commerce, through dialogue with members, has long been aware of this. Our Transport Campaign: Get the Midlands Moving seeks to address some of these issues, and lobby on a regional and national policy level to raise awareness of the effect that insufficient infrastructure is having on Black Country businesses.

Traffic analysis experts Inrix, reported recently that between September 2016 and August 2017, there were around 3,700 traffic jams per day across the UK. Startlingly, the report also suggested that the worst traffic jam over that period had been a 36-mile tailback on the M5 in Somerset, which left drivers facing a 15-hour delay thanks to a fuel spill. Although the Black Country did not feature in the top 10 ’pinch points’ listing, local business and those who use the Black Country motorways and A roads will be all too familiar with local congestion issues.

Inrix also suggested that ‘1.3 million traffic jams in the past year have cost the UK economy a total of £9 billion’. Remarkable statistics such as this could potentially force the government’s hands in terms of acting on the subject. Those who have campaigned on this issue for many years will however be concerned that such figures are not new, and that multiple governments are yet to solve the congestion issue.

Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, commented: “Time and time again we are reminded of the problems caused by congestion in the UK. Poor infrastructure is one of the biggest hindrances to businesses who trade locally, regionally and globally. We sincerely hope that through the Autumn Budget statement we will see some action on addressing these issues from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is imperative for Black Country businesses that goods can be moved in the most efficient way possible, from both a time and cost perspective.”

For more information on the campaign please visit https://www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk/transport or call 0330 024 0820. 

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