Commission’s report downplays freight’s lifeline for Wales, says FTA
Tuesday 28 July 2020
The report published this week by the South East Wales Transport Commission, that aims to tackle congestion on the M4, bypasses the key role which freight plays in sustaining the communities and industry in Wales, according to FTA, the business group which represents the logistics sector.
“Disappointingly, the report overlooks the key role which logistics plays in keeping the Welsh economy supported with the goods and materials it needs,” says Mags Simpson, policy manager at FTA, “and its recommendations are totally inadequate if provision of a long-term solution to congestion on the M4 was the aim.
“The M4 is the artery along which the lifeblood of the Welsh economy – freight vehicles – flows, and to suggest that any congestion is a local problem ignores the role of this key industry in the ongoing restart of the country’s businesses. This is not a local issue, but a national one, and FTA is today reiterating its call to the Welsh Assembly to provide a long-term solution to alleviate the traffic pressure and resulting delays which occur along this crucial trade corridor on a daily basis.
“While the report has recognised that the industry is ‘highly affected’ by delays on the M4, it fails to acknowledge the knock on effect that congestion can have on the country’s supply chain, which provides Wales with all the raw materials, goods and services which the economy needs. The M4 is a critical lifeline for Welsh business and FTA’s members have consistently evidenced the urgent need to tackle the blight of ongoing congestion which delays deliveries and slows the supply chain.
“Today we are reiterating our call to the Welsh Government and the Commission to recommend that Government builds a Newport relief road to tackle the congestion issue once and for all and ease the pressure caused by congestion on the nation’s economy. Our members that use this road every day would be happy to discuss the operational problems they face with Government, and help them to understand the impact that the congestion on this route has on economic output. Our door is always open.”
According to the Report the final recommendations will be published by the end of the year.
FTA is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, 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. FTA supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.