Business leaders have called for politicians to back the recommendations outlined in the National Infrastructure Assessment, if investors are to be given confidence and infrastructure is to be delivered faster.
Representatives from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) both urged the government to deliver the “clear vision” set out by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) so that Britain’s roads and rails are fit for purpose.
In the first ever National Infrastructure Assessment, the NIC recommended a move away from nuclear energy and towards renewable energy instead.
By switching to carbon and renewable sources, and moving towards more use of electric vehicles, the NIC said customers will pay the same for energy in 2050 in real terms as they do today.
The Assessment recommended electric vehicle sales of 100% by 2030, and in terms of actual infrastructure, pointed out the importance of decisions on Northern Powerhouse Rail and Crossrail 2; along with the upgrade of urban roads.
And business leaders have backed the recommendations with a call for government to act in order to help small businesses.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the FSB, said: “It is more important than ever that the government doesn’t get distracted from delivering on infrastructure projects, both large and small. The publication of the Assessment sets out an important and clear vision for the UK’s future infrastructure needs.
“Day to day, small businesses rely particularly on a well maintained local road and rail network, as well as high speed digital communications.
“Small businesses will be looking for the government to deliver so they can achieve their growth ambitions.”
Business leaders at the BCC want action as a result of these recommendations, with Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment, adding: “Business will welcome this long term plan for infrastructure investment, and particularly the focus on digital and transport connectivity, but business communities have seen plans come and go before, so it’s action that’s required above all else.
“We need politicians of all parties, and at a local and national level, to get behind these recommendations, give certainty and confidence to investors and bring about faster infrastructure delivery on the ground to fix the fundamentals of the domestic business environment.”