The report highlights the industry's concerns that targets for reduced congestion will not be met by simply implementing MMS recommendations, instead that joined-up and government-led thinking on national road user charging will enable demand-management of the UK road network.
Heather Crocker, FTA head of parliamentary affairs, stated: 'The Transport Select Committee has underlined many of the key concerns held by FTA about the Multi-Modal Study process. The studies propose a package of recommendations covering all modes of transport, both passenger and freight, however if any one component is not delivered the whole study can be undermined and the transport benefits not achieved. FTA believes that without a national transport strategy blueprint on road user charging, demand will not be managed effectively.
'FTA gave written and oral evidence to the committee highlighting the importance of reliable transport infrastructure to the competitiveness of British industry. The report noted the long delays and lack of journey time reliability on FTA's list of key road and rail routes, many of which are covered by the studies, identifying that these routes 'required significant and urgent investment'.' Crocker continued: 'The lack of commitment and funding from the Strategic Rail Authority in the delivery of rail elements of MMS recommendations is a serious concern to FTA as it undermines the success of individual study recommendations to encourage modal shifts. Without rail investments our road network will simply become more and more congested.
'The report also recognises FTA's criticism that many of the studies did not have freight specialist consultants on their team. This led to variety of untested, contradictory and unachievable freight solutions, for example in the case of the M1, the study covering Yorkshire recommends freight priority lanes whereas the East Midlands study recommends restricting lorry movement to the inside lanes.
'Without joined-up thinking and a clear national strategy for road user charging, not only is it impossible to manage congestion, but it compromises the competitiveness of British industry.'
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