Making Tracks: Transport for 21st Century Business
A Smyth, G Christodoulou, University of Westminster, UK
We argue that although on the surface transport isn?t the primary driver for investment, it influences many of the factors investors look to. The quality of transport infrastructure has the power to influence investors? perceptions and confidence.
Around the world, countries, states, cities and regions are fighting a fierce battle for investment spend. They must have appeal on a number of fronts to attract investment in today?s highly competitive global environment and this report examines the role that transport plays in this fight.
There are many factors that investors and businesses consider when choosing an area to invest in such as technological development, the economic climate and market demand.
Cities around the world are increasingly engaged in competition with each other at various geographical levels. The range of factors influencing city competitiveness is wide, including transport. Transport contributes to a city?s business ?offer?. Their transport systems therefore contribute significantly to their levels of competitiveness. For major cities this competitiveness can be viewed to operate at a continental level and on the global stage in the case of so called ?world cities?.
The evidence suggests that transport remains an important driver for businesses on both a local, national and international level. Transport systems not only facilitate mobility but also have potentially significant if indirect effects on land use, the environment, equity and economic growth.
The globalisation of the business environment means that it is increasingly important to consider national transport systems as a whole, and their connectivity with the rest of the world.
This paper argues that although on the surface transport isn?t the primary driver for investment, it, in fact, influences many of the factors investors look to. The quality of transport infrastructure has the power to influence investors? perceptions and confidence, painting a picture of social and commercial success.
When looking at these in more detail, on the surface transport doesn?t appear to play the dominant role. However, this paper argues that transport networks have significant indirect influence on an investor?s location decision and that it becomes an increasingly important factor as the size and scale of a location decreases and the interdependence of its economy increases.
The paper will explore this dynamic further as well as address more specific questions around the significance of transport to society in general and how its effectiveness can be improved to support the growth and success of the destination. We will also draw on evidence from a major survey of UK businesses on the role of transport in influencing business investment decisions.
Association for European Transport