Improving our transport infrastructure: isn’t it time to make the voice of business really count?

Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Thu 18th, Jan

The launch this week of Transport for the North’s (TfN) consultation on its draft Strategic Transport Plan has met with a mixed reaction – not all positive! Whilst there has been some cynicism expressed around the deliverability of the Plan and funding in particular, the general view seems to be that at the very least it is a step in the right direction, bringing business and civic leaders together from across the North to develop an economic case for more investment in transport.

This is just one of a number of infrastructure related policies currently out for consultation including the new Major Road Network and the Strategic Roads Network. We discussed the latter with Highways England colleagues at our Transport Policy Forum last week as well as more local priorities to be delivered by the Combined Authority including the Key Route Network, which links primary destinations across the Liverpool city region.

It is tempting to get drawn into the wider strategic debate around transport infrastructure across the North, whether rail or road, but we should not ignore the importance of the decisions being made around our local transport network which impact on business on a daily basis, whether moving people or freight, and which also include strategically important schemes like the proposals for the A5036 to improve access to the Port of Liverpool.

It is also easy to dismiss consultations as simply window dressing but we know from our discussions with partners, including Merseytravel and the Department for Transport, that the voice of the private sector is often under represented and there is a genuine desire to engage more constructively with businesses, particularly at a local level.

Louise Ellman MP also joined us at the Forum to provide her unique perspective on transport issues impacting on the region. The key message from all our contributors at the Forum was unanimous – now is the time for business to get its voice heard! By being more engaged you have the opportunity not only to highlight your own business priorities but also to help support the case to government for more local as well as regional transport investment.

If you would like more information on any of the issues above or how we can work on your behalf through our Transport Policy Forum and the wider Chamber network, please contact me via policy@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

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