CBI wants Stonehenge tunnel progress

CBI wants Stonehenge tunnel progress

A leading employees' organisation has called on the Government to press ahead with a motoring route beneath one of the UK's most famous tourist attractions.

Building a tunnel below Stonehenge would help motorists heading to the South-West in terms of congestion, says the CBI.

The confederation, with support from the RAC, wants to see Chancellor George Osborne include the plan for Wiltshire in his Autumn Statement next week. It also wants Mr Osborne to announce further progression on the upgrade to East Anglia's A14 route.

His statement should concentrate on infrastructure investment with clearly outlined timescales and start dates.

John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, said: "The UK recovery is on solid ground but it is in increasingly stark contrast to what's happening elsewhere in the world.

"With eurozone economies flat-lining, continuing political tension between Russia and Ukraine, and in the Middle East, and slowing emerging markets, we must be alert to the possible knock-on effects here."

He continued: "Businesses recognise the public purse is under pressure, which is why they want the Government to continue tackling the deficit, alongside targeted, affordable measures to keep UK growth motoring now, in the next parliament, and beyond.

"We know firms are concerned about the state of our roads and energy supply and affordability, so the arrowhead of business recommendations is a major push on improving the country's infrastructure.

"Businesses want to see the Government set out clear project plans, with start dates and timescales."

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: "Clearly the UK's road network is in need of investment in order to bring about the much-needed improvements that we and our members have been calling for.

"In research for the 2014 Report on Motoring , motorists made it clear that investment in roads, and particularly better maintenance of local roads, was their top transport spending priority. Indeed 85% of motorists would like to see a higher proportion of transport investment spent on improving the condition of existing local roads. A nationwide programme of repair and proactive preventative maintenance backed by funding of a magnitude consistent with the scale of the problem is therefore clearly required.

"We are also expecting to hear of progress on the six feasibility studies initiated earlier this year including routes such as the A303 in the South West there has been years of plans, debates and disagreement as to the best solution for the problems faced by road users and the impact of improvement schemes on the surrounding environment.

"It is absolutely essential that the schemes that get the go ahead in the Autumn Statement are progressed rapidly so that they make a real difference for all road users."

Copyright Press Association 2014