Plymouth companies urged to speak up about transport worries
BUSINESSES are being urged to support a call for improved investment in the South West transport infrastructure.
Plymouth Chamber of Commerce is among other West Country chambers calling for firms to have their say in an online survey.
South West Chambers of Commerce (SWCC) has launched the survey, which will run until Friday, February 15.
All businesses, whether Chamber members or not, are being encouraged to take part and share views on how the South West's transport connectivity issues are affecting them.
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The lobbying campaign, which SWCC recently announced as its top priority, is in response to on-going transport issues exacerbated by recent disruptions to rail and road networks caused by severe flooding.
HM Treasury statistics show 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.
The Government also recently announced the High Speed Rail Network programme would be extended to the North West and North East, with no mention of plans for the South West.
David Parlby, Plymouth Chamber chief executive, said: "We know transport connectivity is a critical issue which impacts on South West businesses of all sizes and from all industries, every day.
"Appropriate levels of investment in our transport connectivity are fundamental to our future economic development but the region is missing out on investment opportunities and being omitted from national transport improvement programmes.
"Plymouth Chamber is collaborating with other chambers from around the South West to ensure the results of the survey inform the transport infrastructure campaign, which has been named the number one priority for South West chambers.
"This survey is a unique opportunity for Plymouth companies to speak up for the city with a unified voice.
"However, for the campaign to be of maximum benefit for the region, the business community needs to be fully represented by as many individual companies as possible.
"It doesn't matter in what shape or form you do business – by taking 10 minutes to share your views, you will help us lobby for the increased investment in the South West's infrastructure."
Derek Phillips, chairman of SWCC, said: "The South West's transport infrastructure is not receiving a fair share of investment.
"Anyone who reads a newspaper or watches the news will be aware of the severe impact poor connectivity has had on the region.
"SWCC has identified improved investment in transport infrastructure as its number one priority.
"In order to make our case, we first need evidence from businesses of the extent of the difficulties caused by the lack of investment."
Results of the survey will be published in late February, and used by SWCC to direct lobbying activity.
The results will not name individual businesses, showing just the overall response levels for each issue addressed by the questionnaire.
Businesses can complete the survey by clicking: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SW_Transport_Survey
The deadline is 5pm on February 15.