Published: January 24th, 2017
Businesses across Shropshire and Herefordshire are being invited to highlight the challenges they face with transporting goods across the region ahead of a new Freight Strategy being developed for the Marches.
More than 200 businesses have been asked to complete the survey by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership before January 30 to enable it to develop a better understanding of the issues facing the transport network.
It follows the publication of the Marches LEP report last year, ‘Investing in Strategic Transport Corridors’, that set out its plan to tackle transport issues that posed a threat to economic growth.
As the next stage, it has commissioned MDS Transmodal, a specialist freight transport consultancy, to develop a freight strategy for the Marches.
The plan aims to identify opportunities to improve the efficiency of freight movements, reduce journey times and thereby improve business productivity across the Marches area while also looking for ways to reduce the wider impacts of freight movements.
LEP Vice Chair Mandy Thorn MBE said the survey aimed to understand the key issues that affect businesses and to canvass views on potential measures to address them.
"Developing the economy requires an integrated and resilient transport network and themain purpose of developing a strategy is to provide a solid evidence base for the Marches area for future funding bids for transport infrastructure improvements.
"We recognise that the freight industry provides many benefits to our communities but it also has impacts and we want to understand these and take them into account in any future work."
She added: "We want to hear from a wide range of businesses across the whole geographical spread of the area about the freight issues that are impacting on their trading and their ideas and hopes for improvements.
"Having an effective freight infrastructure is key to helping businesses to develop and grow so it is vital that we hear directly about the individual challenges they face."
Businesses taking part in the survey will be invited to attend a breakfast workshop in February to hear feedback on it and how the strategy is developing. They will also have an opportunity to discuss how their ideas for improvements will be considered.
Click here to complete freight survey before January 30.