Company directors in Cambridgeshire today welcomed a survey published
by the Institute of Directors (IoD) which highlights the concerns of
many businesses with government transport policy.
Despite the government's huge
parliamentary majority the survey exposes a lack of faith in Labour's
ability to tackle major transport problems.
Locally, members of the IoD's Eastern
Branch - which represents more than 1,000 company directors across
Cambridgeshire - expressed particular concern about problems on the
A14 and on the East Coast main line service through Peterborough to
Kings Cross, as well as about traffic congestion in Cambridge.
The IoD found that 70 per cent of
those surveyed believe that part of the solution to road congestion is
the construction of extra road capacity. The policy option advanced by
the IoD - more roads and road pricing/congestion charging - received
strong support from the membership. Of those surveyed, 73 per cent
felt this would improve or significantly improve congestion over the
IoD members also believe that part of
the solution to the rail crisis is road pricing. Almost 70 per cent of
members believe road pricing could move passenger traffic from road to
rail and about the same number believe the same is true of freight
The survey revealed concern about the
future consequences of the government' s treatment of Railtrack.
Almost 80 per cent of IoD members believe that this will reduce the
amount of private investment in the railways.
Stephanie Smye, chairman of the IoD's
Eastern Branch, said: "We have the world's fourth largest economy
but we do not have an adequate transport system to match. Our members
want to see the government use its huge parliamentary majority in
order to take the tough political decisions that are required.
"One of those decisions -
unpalatable as it may be - will probably have to be the introduction
of road pricing or congestion charging.
"We cannot go on building more
and more roads and we cannot get more and more traffic onto the
existing roads. We need to do something to encourage traffic off the
roads and onto the railways and to encourage the spreading of journey
times so that not everyone is trying to use the roads at the same
"Our members, though, doubt that
the government will have the courage to take the tough decisions that
are needed. It is simply not able to tackle this problem."