Transport ‘not improving’ according to Merseyside businesses

Michael Hunt

A large majority of Merseyside businesses fear that traffic delays have not improved, according to new survey of its kind commissioned by the Merseyside Transport Partnership and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

Senior figures in 460 businesses within the region were asked for their opinions on local transport, prior to the second annual Merseyside Transport Conference being held in Liverpool today.

More than 80% of the businesses approached for the survey said the movement of goods was important and relevant to the functioning of their organisation, with around half of those asked stating they experience regular delays.

Some 60% of businesses said they had experienced some issues with their business relating to delays in delivery, while a third of those questioned believe the situation has deteriorated over the last five years.

Councillor Jean Quinn, chair-woman of Merseyside Transport Partnership, said: "We know that 61% of UK businesses agree that the local transport situation has a major influence on where they choose to set up, so if they knew that they can move people and products freely and easily around Merseyside, it could be a crucial factor in attracting investment into the region."

In addition, more than 40% of those surveyed would consider supporting the idea of schemes such as congestion charging in the region, but only if they were introduced following significant improvements to public transport, and presented employees with a significant alternative to using a car.

The Merseyside Transport Partnership is made up of the five local authorities in the region including Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral, and Liverpool City Council, together with Merseytravel. The organisation is responsible for producing the Merseyside Local Transport Plan.

Phil Redmond, deputy chair and creative director of Liverpool Culture Company, and Neil Scales, chair of Merseyside Transport Partnership and chief executive & director general of Merseytravel, were amongst the key speakers at the second annual conference held at Liverpool Town Hall today, addressing issues that will be crucial to the future development of the region's transport services and infrastructure.

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