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CBI urges more Government spend on transport

The Confederation of British Industry has urged the Government to spend an extra £1bn on transport over the next two years, claiming delays are hitting output and stressing-out staff.

The CBI wants the money for more road and rail projects and demanded a £60bn injection to take spending in the next decade to £300bn.

A CBI survey of 1,000 firms and individual workers revealed "widespread dissatisfaction" with the UK's transport infrastructure.

The study revealed companies believed transport delays led to lost productivity, increased costs and diminished customer service.

Staff were often late for work and arrived stressed because of delays, the report also said.

Sir Digby Jones, director-general of the CBI, said: "Although transport spending has risen in recent years, there are decades of under-investment to deal with and it is clear that business still finds it far too difficult to get its goods to market and its people to work.”

Digby also said that money alone is not enough. “We need reform to the decrepit planning regime, which is still stuck in the 1940s - so that new projects can actually get built,” he said.

The CBI expects the 2010 Olympics to be the catalyst for change. But it also made clear that transport investment for the London games should not take precedence over the rest of the UK.

The Government has commissioned a review of long-term transport needs.

The review is being conducted by Sir Rod Eddington, former boss of British Airways, and is due to report next spring.

"This is no way for the fourth biggest economy on earth to operate," said Digby.

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