The CBI has called on the government to urgently act upon the UK’s growing congestion problem, which is costing the nation’s economy more than £7 billion per year.
The lobbying organisation has made several suggestions to the government about how to solve the congestion problem. The CBI says that if nothing is done, congestion could cost the economy £16bn per year by 2025.
John Cridland, the CBI’s deputy general director, believes an overhaul of the current road network, rather than building new roads, should help ease congestion.
“For too long, Britain’s roads have been a cause of frustration and delays for our businesses and commuters,” he said. “Some government initiatives, such as road-widening schemes or using the hard shoulder on motorways, have been welcome but hardly scratch the surface of the problem.
“Now is the time for fresh thinking on the roads. We need a radical overhaul of how we travel and manage our road system if we are to do more than simply tinker at the edges. Merely slowing the endless rise in congestion is not enough.
“The CBI would like to see policymakers put the same amount of energy and vision into roads as they are doing on high speed rail.”
The CBI's proposals to cut congestion:
- Encouraging more staff to stagger their commutes and break out of the usual ‘9 to 5’ routine.
- Brokering arrangements where commuters making similar journeys take turns driving and share lifts, and introducing shared occupancy motorway lanes.
- Delivering on the government’s promise of giving all homes and businesses access to broadband by 2012.
- Trialling more ‘yellow bus’ schemes to cut school run congestion.
- Following Scotland’s lead and appointing ‘Street Works Commissioners’ in the rest of the UK.
The CBI's recommendations on infrastructure and investment:
- Road investment should focus on congestion pinchpoints.
- Greater use of private investment would help deliver road improvements.
- Road pricing should be considered for building new roads or extra lanes.