How much does traffic congestion cost the British economy every year? Estimates vary; the CBI reckons £8bn; the Centre for Economics & Business Research £4.3bn but either way it is a lot of money, and the dire state of many transport links can’t do much to attract inward investment either. Department of Transport figures from Q2 2013 show all motor vehicle traffic 2.9% up year on year and with the economy on the up, the situation can only get worse. Every file of stationary traffic has a financial impact on the UK economy- just multiply the lorry drivers’ hourly costs by the number of stationary trucks alone. Although running a Building Material manufacturer has its challenges, I wouldn’t swap it for a haulage business (and that’s before we get to diesel prices!). Apart from a central government infrastructure investment which does not seem to be forthcoming, are there any answers for our sector? A more cost-effective and user-friendly railway network would be a start (although companies like Plasmor use rail freight to good effect). Better still would be more customer flexibility – Merchants and sites prepared to offload at night, when the roads are quiet. Perhaps there is an opportunity for an enterprising Builders’ Merchant to secure competitive advantage. Better terms in exchange for 24-hour offloading anyone? Edward Naylor, Chief Executive Naylor Industries Plc