...but coalition struggles with transport work

Marion Dakers
AMBITIOUS plans to upgrade the UK’s transport network have become snared in political and planning delays, the British Chambers of Commerce said today.

Six key projects remain stuck in the starting blocks, the BCC complained, while a further two have been scrapped for the foreseeable future.

The chancellor’s Autumn Statement last year set out details of large-scale infrastructure upgrades, which included 13 projects deemed “business critical” by the BCC.

Progress has been made on some ventures, such as a new Forth Bridge in Edinburgh and London’s Crossrail, but others such as extra airport capacity show little signs of development.

“Even where projects have been given the go-ahead in Westminster, progress is typically slow and in too many cases is mired in the planning stages,” said BCC director of policy Adam Marshall. “Ministers must use all the powers at their disposal to kick-start these lay projects.”