Highways must do more for logistics

London, UK: Highways England must prioritise spending on motorways and major A roads, according to the Freight Transport Association, if Britain’s freight industry is to continue to support the nation’s businesses efficiently.

The association was commenting in response to a Transport Focus survey, published this week, which identified clear shortcomings in Highways England’s approach to roads maintenance, and decreasing levels of satisfaction from those using the road network in their everyday working lives to keep Britain trading.

Christopher Snelling, head of UK policy, Freight Transport Association, said: “While the survey shows some positive indicators, of concerns are the core areas which must be improved. This includes delays in opening roads swiftly following an incident or in sharing adequate information on real time road updates. With the UK’s roads set to receive £30bn in funding, as announced in this week’s Budget, the association is asking Highway England to take urgent action to address the common concerns facing logistics businesses.

“The logistics industry is the beating heart of the UK economy. For it to continue to operate effectively, it needs a road network fully maintained and adapted to meet the needs of logistics businesses. With key areas of improvement identified in this report, and the benefit of a funding boost, FTA hopes Highway England carefully listens to this feedback and takes urgent action to rectify the problems which are stifling the efficient movement of goods and services by the UK’s logistics industry.”

40% of respondents in the survey said that real-time information provided on accident road closures and roadworks affecting journeys is poor or very poor; and almost half decried the performance of Highways England in re-opening roads after such events, rating the organisation’s actions poor or very poor.

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