Congestion is proving costly for Birmingham businesses – we need HS2

Road congestion is costing the West Midlands £2.3bn per year

Road congestion is costing the West Midlands £2.3bn per year

Congestion causing rising costs and unacceptable delays

Birmingham businesses are suffering unacceptable delays and rising costs caused by congestion, according to a Chamber of Commerce survey.

Delays were increasing costs for 61 per cent of respondents to the survey with 42 per cent stating their reputation was being harmed.

Almost half of the respondents in the construction and manufacturing sector stated they were suffering unacceptable delays in delivery with 60 per cent of these businesses reporting an increase in costs.

The impact of delays was alarming for catering businesses with all reporting unacceptable delays and three-quarters reporting rising costs.

Birmingham Chamber chief executive Jerry Blackett said that, although half of the businesses responding agreed regional transport infrastructure was ‘fairly good,’ something had to be done to reduce road congestion.

“It is clear from our survey that congestion is costing our businesses money and harming their reputations.

“These are difficult times and we must do all we can to remove these obstacles and ensure business in Birmingham is as competitive as it can be.

HS2 will release capacity for passengers/freight

Mr Blackett is a keen supporter of HS2 and said a new high speed rail network would release capacity on existing lines for more passenger and freight services.

“We want to see more freight being carried on our railways to relieve the pressure on our road network. We are at the crossroads of the country and, while this presents advantages with our central location, it means we are seeing increasing levels of congestion,” he added.

Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip said congestion on roads in the West Midlands was costing £2.3bn per year despite the number of rail passengers in the West Midlands doubling in a decade.

“We have a growing population and people are increasingly choosing to travel to do business and enjoy leisure time,” he said.

Mr Inskip said it was vital that the right infrastructure was put in place to make the most of the opportunity HS2 brings.

“We want to open up new rail routes and add services for passengers and freight on our existing lines.

“This is good news for businesses and communities right across our region,” he added.

Centro wants to reopen the Stourbridge-Walsall line to freight services and reopen the Camp Hill line for passenger services from south Birmingham into Moor Street station.

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2 Responses to Congestion is proving costly for Birmingham businesses – we need HS2

  1. From which part of Britains thin air does Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip pluck such figures as £2.3bn being lost to congestion? Besides that, having checked google it seems Geoff Inskip either approves, rubber-stamps or gives the thumbs-up to almost every single transport project available to him – irrespective of the sums involved, Could he be a Liberal with a simple desire to spend as much of other peoples money as possible?

    • Chris Neville-Smith says:

      Confused. The endless complaint about HS2 is that the money should be spent on other transport projects instead. In which case, surely one would expect HS2 opponents to be welcoming all these non-HS2 projects? I mean, StopHS2 et al have been banging on and on about commuters being the more pressing issue.

      Or are the transport projects you have in mind roads, roads, roads, roads, airports, roads and more roads?

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