Get moving on trains and roads

Steve Pye, chairman of the Blackpool FSB branch.

Steve Pye, chairman of the Blackpool FSB branch.

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Last week the Government announced a number of Infrastructure Investment packages designed to help kick start the economy and help businesses to grow after probably the worst economic crisis since 1929.

Among some of the key areas of concern that are going to benefit from Government investment, I have singled out the Road and Rail Infrastructure Projects, that are seen as urgent priorities for small businesses.

1. Road investment: The £28bn investment to improve national and local roads is good news. The FSB said before last year’s Autumn Statement that such a fund was desperately needed. There is an urgency to get these projects off the ground so that businesses see action and not just rhetoric.

2. Rail: The campaign by the Blackpool Gazette for a direct link from Blackpool to London is fully supported by the FSB whose head office is based in Blackpool but which also has a Parliamentary Office based in London.

FSB representatives regularly commute between Blackpool and London to attend meetings and lobby the Government of the day.

Hopefully, the Government’s £30bn rail investment alongside last year’s commitment to invest in rail, that has been long overdue, will have some bearing on reversing the decision by Network Rail not to support a direct link. It will help small businesses better connect with their customers and suppliers.

The FSB has long called for better road and rail links to be put in place.

But the Government must ensure that all modes of transport are taken into consideration when making decisions on infrastructure investment.

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