The Blackpool headquartered Federation of Small Businesses has welcomed a Government plan to broaden access to a multi-billion pound fund for local road improvements.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said the scheme involves creating a Major Road Network to allow local authorities to take a share of the vehicle excise duty-funded National Roads Fund instead of it being reserved for A-roads and motorways.
National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, said: “The new strategy should improve many of the roads that small businesses depend on most - for their staff, their customers and their suppliers.
“Small businesses need a dense, well-maintained road network to compete and grow. Retargeting infrastructure investment is therefore the best way to improve productivity and connectivity, and we endorse the move to do this so economic growth is strategically spread to every corner of the country.
“In particular, FSB members will welcome the commitment to prioritise smaller-scale projects that can be delivered quickly.
“In the run-up to the General Election, FSB called for the next Government to retarget investment into local roads outside of the strategic road network, and we are pleased to see this planned investment.”
Under the strategy, road improvement programmes will be judged on how they contribute to creating a more geographically balanced economy, increase productivity or growth and tackle congestion.
The DfT pledged to support every part of the country and in some cases give priority to smaller schemes that are “proven solutions” so passengers and drivers get the benefits quicker.