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Logistics UK has told the government it needed to adopt a longer-term view when it came to road infrastructure projects, so that the industry can operate efficiently.

Responding to a recent consultation about the future of England’s roads, the business group’s head of infrastructure policy, Jonathan Walker, said: “The challenges our economy faces, such as decarbonisation and the need to level up and spread prosperity more widely across the country, will not be fully solved in the next five-year investment period.

“A clear vision of the future infrastructure needs for the economy should be the foundation upon which these shorter-term plans are built.”

Walker added that it was concerned that many schemes, such as the Lower Thames Crossing, had not progressed as planned and they needed to be delivered swiftly to improve the flow of goods across the country and to key ports.

“Road freight is an essential enabler of all business activity; in 2020, it accounted for 89% of all freight traffic,” he said.
“Improved transport infrastructure is an urgent priority both nationally and locally, to enhance capacity, reduce unreliability and prepare the network to support decarbonisation and innovation.”

Launching the consultation earlier in the summer, roads minister Richard Holden said much of the strategic road network was built in the 1960s and 1970s and many structures and road surfaces were reaching the end of their serviceable life and so maintenance and renewals were likely to be a growing element of the government’s roads programme.

“Failure to invest in a well-maintained road network will result in lost time, lower productivity, and higher costs for road users and those that rely on the network,” he added.

The consultation closed yesterday; the department for transport said it was now analysing feedback.