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02:48 on Wednesday
21 September 2005

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Transport plans make little progress say local directors 

Despite all the talk on transport policy, Cambridgeshire members of the Institute of Directors (IoD) remain largely dubious about the government’s progress and planned improvements. They have backed the conclusions of a national IoD report which expressed serious concern over the lack of momentum in the much-heralded 'Ten Year Plan'.

“The rail network is of particular concern,” said Stephanie Smye, chairman of the IoD’s Eastern Branch. “The quangos set up to oversee the running of the rail system are proving to be especially ineffective.

“On the roads, there seem to be contradictory signals from the government on congestion charging. Worryingly, the Motorists' Forum, set up by the government to advise on policy, was unknown to eighty one per cent of directors in a recent survey and had only made contact with two per cent of business organisations on which the IoD is represented.”

Company directors believe that only two areas of the government’s current Ten Year Plan for Transport have the potential for success. These are in the important areas of the reduction of road accidents and improving information to travellers. However, on all other key areas there is cause for concern.

This was borne out in a recent survey of IoD members which found that only nine per cent of UK directors thought that road congestion would be tackled. Fewer than ten per cent thought that the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) and the Rail Regulator had performed well in terms of helping to improve transport.

Stephanie Smye said: “Despite all the talk by the various public bodies that have been set up since 1997 - like the SRA, the Rail Regulator, the Commission for Integrated Transport and the recent brief given to Lord Birt - directors are saying that they remain extremely sceptical of the government’s ability to deliver improvements across many key areas of its transport plan.

“This clearly has implications in our region. The A14 is a prime example of how transport policy has failed to work to anticipate road usage and it is unclear how the government will ensure that past mistakes are not repeated.”

March 2002




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