Is our road network geared towards driving economic growth?

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We've blogged extensively before on how critical the road network is to manufacturers.

The UK road network, suffering from decades of underinvestment, is in a poor state. This condition impacts on manufacturing firms who more than other sectors have to physically move goods.

The poor road condition in the UK also puts a dent on business investment. Our previous surveys show that quality of infrastructure is ranked 4th as a factor when global manufacturers decide what country to make an investment in.

The latest World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report also sees the UK slipping from 24th to 28th for the quality of our road infrastructure. But is there evidence of this actually happening? The Department for Transport Road Congestion Statistics, replicated below, paint the picture.

The number of on time journeys, for which figures are available, has never been above 85% and when looking at recent changes across the last few years reliability is heading in the wrong direction.

Perhaps unsurprisingly many are calling for action to be taken now, and we've written before about the role Local Pinch Point funding can play. The DfT has today published the pipeline of road works in 2014 which includes work on 178 pinch point schemes on the local or strategic road network.

The upcoming Autumn Statement is a good opportunity to increase funding for these strategic intervention schemes to really demonstrate commitment to creating a road network which drives growth within this Parliament.

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