Motor industry responds to The Eddington Transport Study

01 December 2006 #SMMT News

Motor industry responds to The Eddington Transport Study



More than two-thirds of companies in auto manufacturing say that Britain’s transport infrastructure makes it hard to stay competitive. That was one of the key findings in SMMT’s fourth annual issues survey1 published this week, which also revealed that 84 per cent think the situation is unlikely to improve in the next five years.


So today, SMMT welcomes publication of Sir Rod Eddington’s study which recognises the need for investment in roads infrastructure. It also makes clear the need for ‘good alternative travel options’ when road pricing is introduced.


However, the industry is concerned by comments that transport policy must respond to the challenge of climate change. In road transport it already does, through fiscal instruments like vehicle excise and fuel duty and company car tax. SMMT believes the comments may be used as justification to levy further taxes on motorists and commercial vehicle operators.


‘Congestion is an issue for the industry, as well as for the private motorist’, commented SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan. ‘Aside from the environmental impact, time wasted in jams costs the industry millions of pounds every year. Transport is a key driver of a country’s competitiveness and government must take this opportunity to set out its stall for the future in a clear and transparent way.’


On road pricing the SMMT makes the following points:

  • It must be absolutely transparent, stable and acceptable to motorists
  • It must not be used – or seen to be used – as a revenue raising exercise
  • Funds should be re-invested in the transport network, with roads as a priority
  • It should be inter-operable with other EU systems
  • Manufacturers should not be made to pay to install new technology to support road pricing



Note to editors: SMMT’s fourth annual issues survey pooled the views of more than 100 senior executives in the auto industry. Copies of the report called Automotive Manufacturing, the industry perspective are free to download from the home page of the SMMT web site –


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