Devon businesses urged to support transport investment
Business leaders across Devon and the South West are calling for businesses to speak up in support improved investment in the South West transport infrastructure.
South West Chambers of Commerce has prepared an online survey which will run until February 15. All businesses, regardless of whether or not they are Chamber members, are being encouraged to take part and share their views on how the South West's transport connectivity issues are affecting them.
The lobbying campaign, which SWCC recently announced as its top priority, is in response to on-going transport connectivity issues in the South West, which have been exacerbated by the recent disruptions to rail and road networks caused by severe flooding.
Statistics recently published by the HM Treasury show that the average public sector spend for transport in 2010/11 was just £212 per person in the South West. This is the lowest figure in the UK and just over a quarter of that spent per person in London, which amounted to £774 in the same period.
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The Government also recently announced that the High Speed Rail Network programme would be extended to the North West and North East, with no mention of such plans for the South West.
Derek Phillips, Chairman of South West Chambers, said: "It is clear that the South West's transport infrastructure is not receiving a fair share of investment. Transport has been in the news a lot recently and anyone who reads a newspaper or watches the news will be fully aware of the severe impact that poor connectivity has had on the region.
"SWCC has identified improved investment in transport infrastructure as its number one priority for the South West. In order to make our case, we first need evidence from businesses in the region of the extent of the difficulties caused by the lack of investment.
"We would like to encourage as many businesses as possible to speak up and share their views on this important issue. The online survey will take just 10 minutes to complete and every contribution will support a campaign which could be critical in advancing the economic development of the South West."
The results of the survey, which will be published in late February, will be used by SWCC to direct future lobbying activity. The results will not name any individual businesses, showing just the overall response levels for each issue addressed by the questionnaire.
South West businesses can complete the survey by clicking here
The deadline for responses is 5.00pm Friday 15 February 2013.