Firms call for urgent action

ESSEX business leaders have called for “speedy action” following a Government announcement on guarantee schemes to kick-start infrastructure projects.

Denise Rossiter, chief executive at Essex Chambers of Commerce, welcomed the initiative, but said her members expected action, not unfulfilled promises, and visible results on the ground.

“Ministers’ newfound willingness to use the Government’s balance sheet to kick-start stalled projects is a positive development, particularly as Essex Chambers have repeatedly called for urgent action on infrastructure within the county,” she said.

“The business community will be heartened to see the Treasury showing signs of innovative thinking on infrastructure financing.

“With luck, this indicates officials are willing to consider more radical funding options for bigger and longer-term projects.”

Businesses have had to put up with deficient transport infrastructure causing delays, uncertainty and cost “for too long”, and the announcements were long overdue, she added.

“With traffic regularly snarled up on the M25 and the approaches to the Dartford Crossing, the A120 between Marks Tey and Stansted requiring dualling along its whole length, along with the pressures that will be put on Essex’s roads from the projected growth at projects such as London Gateway to name but a few, ministers must use both their chequebook and their legal powers to get Britain moving,” she said.