The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has voiced its support of Transport Focus today, whilst responding to the Department for Transport (DfT) announcement of the reform of the Highways Agency (HA) and introduction of a long term vision for improving the UK road network.
The Government has set out how a new ‘watchdog’ and ‘monitor’ will play a part in helping England’s motorways and major roads run better. Whilst the promise from the new voice of the roads – Transport Focus is to ‘make a difference for road users.’
As FTA has worked closely, and continues to do so, with Transport Focus (formerly Passenger Focus), the Association recognises the importance of finding an effective solution which will survey and truly represent all road users opinion, and in particular that of freight.
Karen Dee – FTA Director of Policy said:
"FTA is working closely with Transport Focus and supports its plans to make a difference for road users. There is a steep learning curve for the organisation in taking on this new and important role – not least in understanding what different road users require from the strategic road network. FTA is keen to help Transport Focus develop the knowledge-base it needs so that it can be an effective voice for all road users."
Parliament will discuss an expanded remit for the organisation next week, as part of the Infrastructure Bill. The organisation would represent all those who use the motorways and certain A roads in England – including motorists and business users as well as those who walk or cycle on the network. This would sit alongside continued work to represent and make a difference for rail, bus, coach and tram passengers.
Ms Dee added:
"Taken together, the roads reform proposals set out in the Infrastructure Bill have potential to improve greatly the way we plan, deliver and operate our strategic roads. FTA hopes that the Bill will receive cross-party support so we can put an end to the stop-start funding of roads improvements we have seen so often in the past."