Mike Rees, Partner with Bruton Knowles in Cardiff welcomed this week’s vision of the future from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) think tank but said action is needed to now to prepare Wales for the future changes.
Mike said: “The potential for Welsh business is enormous but there is huge frustration among the business community at the lack of progress on major infrastructure projects such as the M4 by-pass to the Brynglass Tunnels, better North/South links and Cardiff Metro proposals.
“The think tank is predicting that Cardiff Airport will be handling 4.5 million passengers with an increased range of long haul and short haul destinations by 2035. That may seem like a long time away but unless work starts soon on better links to the airport and the number of destinations are increased, then this is unlikely to happen.
“Futuristic ideas like a tunnel between Holyhead and Dublin could have huge economic benefits but unless the infrastructure links are put in place to make travel between North and South Wales easier there will be no benefits for businesses in Cardiff and Wales.”
Mr Rees said that many businesses are frustrated by the planning system in Wales which many say make it harder for expansion and development than in England.
He said: “We must make sure that we keep the best businesses in Wales, that there is a pipeline of good quality office space, industrial units and warehousing.
“There are some restrictions due to the geography of Wales and of course development must be sustainable and appropriate but we can’t afford to put any more barriers in the way of progress.
“The Planning (Wales) Bill announced last month is a step forward in improving some aspects of the planning system which are causing frustration.
“What’s important is that when these changes come into force, those in authority move quickly and look at applications with an attitude of making things happen for the benefit of jobs and prosperity in Wales.”