12th March 2013
Funding for transport infrastructure vital for Bristol’s economic growth
The senior partner of one of Bristol’s leading property firms is calling on the Chancellor to prioritise transport investment in regional transport infrastructure his forthcoming Budget to facilitate Bristol’s economic development.
Martyn Jones, partner at Alder King, warns that transport links and congestion are compromising economic growth and could undermine the efforts of the newly-launched Invest in Bristol and Bath organisation.
“It’s imperative that Bristol businesses have access to modern, reliable transport infrastructure around the city to increase prosperity, attract inward investment and create jobs,” he says.
“The bendy bus system is a good start, but the tram remains the best long-term solution to Bristol’s transport system. A tram network would help us compete as a world-class city and help meet Business West’s 2050 Vision but we need a commitment from central government to help the LEP and public sector to deliver it.”
Other infrastructure projects that would support Bristol’s economy include the proposed new link road to open up South Bristol and improved access to Bristol Airport.
“Our regional economy has huge strengths, with expertise in research, telecoms and aviation, and has real potential to create high end technology jobs. But we must have a green and sustainable transport infrastructure to match.”
Mr Jones adds that when the electrification of the Great Western Mainline is complete in 2017, it will provide access to London in around 45 minutes, less than the time it takes to travel a relatively short distance in Bristol.
“While this investment in rail is of course great news, it also has the potential to draw businesses away from Bristol if they feel it’s easier to travel to London to do business rather than stay here,” says Mr Jones. “We mustn’t allow the city to become a mere commuter suburb of the capital.”