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CBI slams trunk roads report

TRANSPORT LOBBY groups have slammed the latest government Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment report into the economic benefits of large-scale transport infrastructure investment.

According to SACTRA's findings, published this week, current methods of calculating the potential impact of new roads on economic regeneration are flawed as no account is taken of possible negative impacts. And it says there is a strong economic argument for actually restricting road access to city centres in some cases.

But the Confederation of British Industry insists that 'well-directed' investment in transport infrastructure would help the economy. Director of business environment Graham Mason added: 'Traffic congestion is costing business £15bn-£20bn a year, but this does not mean that any and all traffic reduction is desirable.'

He added that in many circumstances restricting traffic would impose real costs on the economy.

The SACTRA report was also dismissed by British Road Federation deputy director Paul Everitt, who said it 'added nothing new'. He went on: 'Nobody believes road building is the panacea for economic problems. But our research shows that improved accessibility does make a contribution to local regeneration.'

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