Freight strategy to drive investment in infrastructure

January 24, 2017
Cars in Motion on Dual Lane Motorway Among Green Spring Fields

Businesses across the Marches 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 February 6 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 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 the main 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 the freight survey before February 6.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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