I recently attended the official launch of the new East Anglia rail franchise which was won by Greater Anglia.

The company will be investing in a completely new fleet of rolling stock for use on all lines in Essex, the first time, I believe, this has happened in any franchise renewal.

This was greatly welcomed by all present as it was going to bring to fruition the faster rail journeys that business and leisure passengers are looking for. However, to achieve those we still need to see the improvements and investment from Network Rail in the rail infrastructure.

Shortly after this announcement we had the decision on a new runway for the south east and, as expected, the Government has decided this should go to Heathrow rather than Gatwick.

However, even this announcement was not straightforward as there is to be a further year’s consultation before MPs sign it off.

There will no doubt be further environmental or legal challenges to the decision, which means that it probably won’t come into use until 2025 or possibly 2030.

In the meantime the demand for air travel is going to grow and if we are to develop our ambition of becoming a global trading nation once we have left the EU then air travel is imperative to our success.

We have a solution in Essex with Stansted Airport having capacity by using its existing runway to absorb some of the demand, and we believe this should be given serious consideration by the Department for Transport. It does, though, bring me back to my opening paragraph and the need for investment in our rail infrastructure.

This is just as important on the West Anglia Main Line serving Stansted as it is on the Great Eastern Main Line linking central Essex with London.

It is not just the rail network where we will need to see improvements, but also our roads, and we need to see a decision on upgrading the A120 as soon as possible.

The common theme here seems to be that while the Government urges the private sector to invest, to grow the economy, boost exports and create jobs it is central and local government that often put up the barriers to that happening.

Just look at the length of time it has taken to get a decision on Heathrow’s third runway or to develop Hinckley Point C nuclear power station.

More locally we heard recently of a business that wants to develop a site and create jobs but has had its planning application with the relevant local authority for three years and is still awaiting a decision.

Talking to some of our members at a recent event the common theme was the need to avoid uncertainty.

This is certainly true over the direction and speed of Brexit but equally applies to the development of our infrastructure or processing planning applications.

Businesses are more than willing to step up to the plate but need central and local government to avoid uncertainty over future policy directions if we are to achieve economic growth