The Freight Transport Association has said today that the West Midlands LEP statement on transport is a step in the right direction, and shows a joined up approach in submitting the Strategic Economic plans across the Midlands.
Sally Gilson, FTA Policy Manager for the Midlands commented:
"FTA is pleased that freight is being recognised within the West Midlands Cross LEP statement on transport. The statement highlights that the need for investment in the strategic road and rail network is urgently required, and supports the idea that the released rail capacity from HS2 should also support rail freight growth."
FTA has said that the statement which submits the Strategic Economic Plans for the 6 Midlands Local Enterprise Partnerships (the Black Country, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Coventry & Warwickshire, the Marches, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire and Worcestershire) reflects the importance for the improvement of transport infrastructure across the region.
Ms Gilson added:
"This statement shows in particular that supplier delivery times within the West Midlands suffer from transport infrastructure limitations. The plan to maximise the benefits of the Strategic Road Network by introducing further managed motorways and starting a dialogue with government with regards to the M6 toll is a step in the right direction."
The issues that freight encounter from congestion have also been acknowledged within the LEP statement saying that "whilst road freight accounts for just 6% of all road trips, the impact of road congestion on those freight movements costs our economy some £600M per year".
"It is important that the LEP’s within the West Midlands area continue with this coordinated approach and work with the Highways Agency in highlighting the problems areas. I was pleased to see that the importance of freight within the area has been highlighted."