By Duncan Brodie, Business Editor
Friday, November 16, 2012
URGENT investment in infrastructure, such as an upgrade to the A14, is required if “UK plc” is not to be left trailing behind other parts of the world, business leaders were told at a Suffolk Chamber of Commerce dinner event.
Adam Marshall, policy director at British Chambers of Commerce, said a lack of long-term planning and short-term action meant the UK was missing out to competitors around the globe.
“While it is important and welcome that Government has laid out its intention to look at infrastructure issues, jam tomorrow is just not good enough for business,” said Mr Marshall at the event, held at Ipswich Town Football Club.
“For example, in the East of England, just about every business I meet tells me that the A14 is a major problem that needs addressing. We know that something won’t be done to address that until 2018/2019 at the earliest and that is just not good enough.”
He added: “In the short term the potential rise in fuel duty is deeply concerning to business. In the longer term there is a growing concern that a lack of consistency from governments past and present on transport policies is not good enough. Six transport Secretaries of State in six years mean this issue is not taking the priority it should.”
Peter Funnell, president of Suffolk Chamber, said: “We were delighted that Adam could join us in Ipswich for an insight into how lobbying to support business is progressing in Whitehall and also to brief him about the innovation and entrepreneurial endeavour that is a hallmark of businesses in Suffolk
“The issues that Adam and his team are discussing with ministers reflect what businesses large and small are saying in our county.
“I have no doubt that he will go back to London having heard loud and clear from our patrons and businesses leaders about the pressing issues that we see as important for local and regional economy growth and that these will be presented at the highest levels of Government,” added Dr Funnell.