A fully integrated, high-performing transport system is key to sustained economic prosperity. World-class international gateways, ports and airports, as well as reliable inter-urban routes, improve business efficiency, stimulate investment and innovation and increase competition by opening access to new markets.
However in the UK we have significant challenges with the efficiency and the capacity within our transport networks, as well as concerns over the impact of Brexit on the transport industry. Transportation is also increasingly being affected by factors such as congestion, sustainability, climate change, demographics and public health. There are many other disruptions – from low-carbon fuels, drones and autonomous vehicles to “smart” infrastructure developments such as end-to-end ticketing and road pricing.
In a new report, we examine why transport is key to economic prosperity. Speaking to chief officers of 180 of the UK's largest businesses across retail, logistics, utilities, manufacturing and construction, we establish a valuable and necessary insight into how business feels about the current and future role of transport and its reliance on a robust transport network.
While there is widespread agreement that a high-quality transportation network is essential for business growth, many business leaders we spoke to think the UK’s current transport infrastructure is actually costing them money – 65% say that they lose more than 5% of profitability due to transport infrastructure inefficiency. They also believe that more investment is needed to ensure UK transport infrastructure facilitates rather than inhibits international trade, as many think it does now. Our survey respondents overwhelmingly tell us that Brexit will negatively affect the transport industry and, in turn, businesses in the UK. However, many have an optimistic view of the impact technology will have in addressing many of the inherent challenges.
With so much disrupting the sector, wide-ranging legal challenges will emerge as the new and evolving transport landscape takes shape. As market leaders in transport law DWF will be supporting clients through the myriad of developments.