Privatising Roads Could Be Double Edged Sword Says Shiply

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Governmental plans to semi-privatise the UK road network both harm and benefit courier and delivery services according to European transport marketplace Shiply.

Transport Marketplace

Couriers could be hard hit by toll roads

Quicker turnaround of road developments and reduce congestion it would prove popular amongst haulage companies

London, UK: Governmental plans to semi-privatise the UK road network both harm and benefit courier and delivery services according to European transport marketplace Shiply.

A new feasibility study is to be undertaken to assess the outcome of handing over major road development projects to private businesses. The joint study by The Treasury and Department for Transport will examine the viability of allowing sovereign wealth and pension funds to lease roads for extended periods.

The radical proposal is not guaranteed to go ahead, but could help improve the UK infrastructure, reduce congestion and assist the vital road logistics sector according to the government.

Through private sector capital, it is hoped that improvements and expansions to major roads would be completed more promptly. In his speech at the Institute of Civil Engineering the prime minister pointed out that congestion currently costs the UK £7bn per year.

Privatisation could also help to reduce the burden of increasing petrol prices, by freeing up those state funds which currently go into road infrastructure.

Should the plan go ahead it could potentially see the introduction of tolls to new roads or extra lanes built by private firms. Tolls were implemented to the M6 in 2003, though these failed to ease congestion around Birmingham according to the Campaign for Better Transport.

The UK logistics industry could benefit from efficiency improvements brought about by wider and better maintained roads, but smaller companies could be further stretched should they have to pay tolls in attempts to keep their services competitive.

Robert Matthams Managing Director of Shiply.com, the online transport marketplace with more than 50,000 registered delivery services, remarked on the potential impact of road privatisation.

“If private funding does result in quicker turnaround of road developments and reduce congestion it would prove popular amongst haulage companies. Better maintained roads would help improve efficiency for firms who delivery over long distances and could also reduce delivery times.

The introduction of tolls to new roads could negatively impact on smaller couriers though, with fuel already a large outgoing for firms the last thing they need is another cost to factor into their journeys.”

About Shiply

Founded in 2008, Shiply matches people needing to move goods ranging from cars to furniture , with transport companies going there anyway. Over 25% of lorries run completely empty of cargo and over 50% run only part-full. By enabling consumers and businesses to make use of this spare capacity, Shiply.com dramatically cuts down on CO2 emissions, increases the profitability of transport companies and saves the consumer up to 75%.

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Tim Hawes
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