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CBI urges infrastructure improvements

bath spa station

Businesses have urged ministers to act with more urgency to improve local transport links, warning of the threat to productivity if no action is taken.

Employers body the CBI called for reduced travel times for people commuting within cities, across regions and to airports.

Its Shaping Regional Infrastructure report, says the UK economy could benefit by £175bn in the decade to 2024 if all local areas reached their potential.

The report calls for better connectivity within and between regions as well as to airports to allow firms to access international markets.

CBI infrastructure director Rhian Kelly said: “England’s infrastructure is the arteries and veins without which the country, its economy and businesses simply would not function.

“But with only a quarter of firms satisfied with the state of their region’s infrastructure, it’s vital the pace of taking action and delivering improvements is stepped up.

“By making it easier for staff to get to work and by better connecting companies to their customers, markets overseas and supply chains, we could do a great deal to lift England’s productivity.”

Kelly added that facilitating deals in the global marketplace would be critical as the UK left the European Union.

“Ramping up trade with international partners – old, new and in all corners of the world – will be crucial to making a success of Brexit,” he said.

“This makes it doubly important to better connect firms to these markets, particularly through the government’s commitment to a long-term aviation strategy, improvements in getting to our air and sea ports and giving our regional airports a new lease of life.”

 

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