The eagerly awaited report into the future needs of the economy and transport infrastructure by Sir Rod Eddington is expected to support calls for more investment in links to ports and airports. Sir Rod was asked by the Government to review the contribution that road and rail networks make to the economy and make recommendations on how future investment should be spent.
Commenting in advance of the report, expected to be published on 5 December, James Hookham, Deputy Chief Executive of the Freight Transport Association said, 'We have told Sir Rod that the expected high levels of imports will put pressure on the Trade Routes that serve our gateway ports and airports. According to our research, routes like the A14 and A34, the M1, M6, M20 and M25 and the rail routes from Felixstowe and Southampton via London to the West Coast Main Line will carry the majority of increased freight traffic over the next ten years. But freight traffic is in danger of being choked by the growth of other traffic – cars and passenger trains – over that time. The Government's priority must be to protect the efficiency of the UK's Trade Routes by increasing their capacity and managing flows to give priority to economically significant freight movements.
'The UK economy and consumer choice is founded on efficient and reliable logistics. With more and more goods being sourced abroad, the Government needs to adapt its transport priorities to meet the future needs of business and logistics.'
The Freight Transport Association met with Sir Rod Eddington during the course of his research and made a comprehensive written submission. Next week FTA will publish findings from its Freight Future research project, identifying trends for road and rail freight over the next ten years.
FTA will be available for comment or information both before and after publication of the Eddington Report.