The British Ports Association (BPA) has outlined the case for targeting transport spending on freight-based projects, to unlock growth in the economy and stimulate the economy post-COVID-19.
The BPA has released a paper titled ‘Gateways for Growth: Backing a Better Connected Britain’, which it said shows how congestion and bottlenecks can be alleviated through targeted funding. This will, the BPA said, increase efficiency and unlock the economy.
The paper outlines several priorities for port connectivity and growth post-COVID-19, which firstly require the government to recognise the £1.7bn ports invest in their own infrastructure, to the benefit of the UK economy.
It also called for local and regional planners to consider freight within planning and for local authority funding to be increased for roads, in line with budget increases for national agencies.
Additionally, it said large-scale national projects should still go ahead, but funding must be allocated for smaller scale, but equally as imperative projects.
Commenting, Phoebe Warneford-Thomson, Policy and Economic Analyst, at theBPA said: “Ports ask for very little from the Government, but they do rely on investment in modern transport infrastructure. This can often be subject to competing demands; for example, passenger projects are frequently prioritised over the streamlining of freight movements. However, this paper outlines why investment in freight transport infrastructure is imperative.
“If the end-to-end freight journey is not able to function as efficiently as possible, the UK’s economic competitiveness will suffer; a consideration that holds even more salience as the UK faces a period of economic hardship and must seek to unlock growth in the economy.
“We are therefore laying down the case for Governments – both central and regional – to step up their funding for freight transport connections and build ports into local transport plans.”