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Complied by Cass Gilroy-Business Editor

Eddington’s transport report puts UK economy at risk says FSB

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has reacted to the Eddington Review with great disappointment. In a new survey of FSB members it was found that most businesses cannot change their travel patterns.

Therefore, road charging will not reduce congestion but will simply increase business costs and harm the economy. The UK ’s largest business organisation reminded policy- makers that 4.3 million small firms employ over 12 million people in Britain, contributing 50% of UK GDP.

Restrictions on their growth through road charging would be likely to reduce the tax take to the Government and cancel out any gains raised through road tolls.

Road taxes raise £45bn per year but only £7bn is spent on the roads. The FSB believes that more of this £45bn should be spent on the transport network. The proposal for road charging in order to gain extra revenue is seen in this light by small firms as nothing more than another tax.

However, the FSB did welcome Sir Rod’s backing for further airport expansion. A fifth of small firms told the FSB that aviation was important to them. Proposals to speed up the planning system for transport projects were also welcomed by small firms. The FSB was also disappointed that a new North-South high speed rail line was not given priority status by Sir Rod.


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