Government must urgently push ahead with Lower Thames Crossing, says FTA
Published: 10 October 2018 - Rachel Tucker
As the next phase of statutory consultation for the Lower Thames Crossing today, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the only business group representing all of logistics, has urged government to proceed with construction of its approved route across the Thames to increase capacity and connectivity on this vital road network.
The route would link the A2 east of Gravesend to the M25, a solution expected to unlock an additional 90 per cent of road capacity. FTA fully supports this scheme, as Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s head of road network policy, explains: “FTA, which represents more than 17,000 logistics businesses, urges government to press ahead with construction of the scheme as soon as possible to ease congestion and improve road capacity in this area.
“Traffic congestion at the Dartford Crossing is already unbearably high and it is predicted to return to pre-Dart Charge levels by 2020. The M2 / M25 route is a vital cog in the country’s freight machine and it must continue to work as smoothly as possible to ensure that British companies can trade without delays both domestically and internationally.
“The logistics industry is a lifeblood of the UK economy and needs an efficient and effective road network to continue stocking Britain’s factories, retail outlets, schools, hospitals and homes with the raw materials and goods they need to continue operating efficiently. While the Lower Thames Crossing is a great milestone, a nationwide road upgrade is desperately needed to empower businesses to trade without friction.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.