02 May 2008
The Freight Transport Association has urged Government to take another look at the region's road priorities in light of another setback in improving the economic links into the South West.
FTA's Regional Policy Manager for the South West, Ian Gallagher, said, 'Important trade routes such as the A303, the A358 to junction 25 of the M5 and the Air Balloon Roundabout on the A417 are crying out for investment. Yet despite support for these schemes, the Government seems unable to commit to these important links into the economic heartland of the South West.
'The safety record on the single lane section of the A417 - known locally as the 'missing link' - at Air Balloon Roundabout was highlighted again recently with another fatal accident on this notorious stretch of road. This is unfortunately yet another to add to the growing list of those killed or seriously injured, which has amounted to more than 30 in the last decade, a figure which is 30 per cent higher than the national average.
'Investment is urgently needed to bring these important trade routes up to twenty-first century standard. Rather than procrastinating, let's see some positive action. Let's develop the A303 at Stonehenge, let's look at dualling the A358 and let's carry on with the improvements to the A417 before there is another fatality.'
The Freight Transport Association represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – almost half the UK fleet. In addition they consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight. FTA's website can be found at www.fta.co.uk