The views of Chamber members have
appeared on the 10 Downing Street website in response to the online
petition against road-pricing.
The British Chambers of Commerce
(BCC), which represents over 100,000 member businesses from Chambers
across the UK, was approached by the Government to publish the views
of our members on the 10 Downing Street website.Chamber members from
across the country recently contributed to ‘Waiting in line’, a
national survey which found that 82 per cent of businesses describe
the road network as essential to their business operations yet 84
per cent find that road congestion affects their business locally.
David Frost, Director General of the
British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The transport infrastructure in
Britain is failing British business. Our roads are overly congested
and our public transport system cannot cope. Congestion on our roads
alone is costing business £17 billion a year and this is harming the
UK's competitiveness. Increased capacity is sorely needed on
Britain's roads yet of the £42 billion taken in taxes from all road
users the Government spends just £1.6 billion a year on the
construction of trunk roads and motorways.
“But its not just roads we need to
see improved, our public transport system needs increased investment
and improvement across the board if the Government is expecting more
and more people to rely on it.
“Our members - small and medium
sized business from across the UK - have had enough and want a
transport system fit for the 21st century. It is because of this
that businesses are now prepared to contemplate the principle of
road pricing. A recent survey of our members found that 87 per cent
are in favour of some form of road user charging.
“The caveat to this is that any
money raised must be offset by a reduction in other forms of tax
such as fuel duty and road tax and that it be ring fenced towards
improving transport infrastructure. Business will expect to see
clear and tangible benefits from what they are paying. To gain
support any proposals on road pricing must not be just an extra tax
but form part of a thorough, strategic plan on the future of
transport in the UK.”
February 2007 -
Peterborough UK Community Website