April 18, 2024

BTA sets out business travel ‘manifesto’

The Business Travel Association has unveiled a 'manifesto' ahead of the General Election in which it urges the government to take action on a range of long-term infrastructure projects and invest in sustainable travel initiatives.

Its three core messages are the need to invest in promoting international trade, UK domestic connectivity and in enabling sustainable travel.

The association recommends the new government supports the expansion of Heathrow Airport, ensures access to the expanded airport for 14 regional airports, and the national Infrastructure Commission to include airport capacity in its assessment post-2030.

It also calls for the government to see through the delivery of HS2 as planned, to improve connectivity across the North and to implement the rail operation and ticketing reform recommendations of the Williams Review – although the report has not yet been published.

There are also recommendations to reform APD and ultimately abolish it, to modernise UK airspace to help reduce pollution, and to encourage more investment in alternative fuels and the development of electric aircraft.

Clive Wratten, CEO, BTA, says: “What has been clear over the last three years is that the government has been paralysed by Brexit, and that this has prevented serious discussions about the future needs of the business travel sector.

“Very often in the UK Governments of both colours have been guilty of taking the ‘easiest’ option about major infrastructure projects – kicking them down the road or just papering over the cracks.

“We’re calling for politicians to be more ambitious, to listen to business people, and to get on and deliver the investment and modernisation our nation needs.”

He adds: “Priority has to go to delivering High Speed 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, implementing the findings of the Williams Rail Review, and ensuring the expansion of Heathrow Airport benefits our regional airports and kickstarts airspace modernisation.”