1% of GDP spent on transport infrastructure

Countries in the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD), which includes the UK, invest on average around 1% of GDP on road and rail infrastructure. It has remained at this figure since 1995. According to the International Transport Forum (ITF) of the OECD, the fact that the share of GDP dedicated to transport infrastructure has remained constant in many countries suggests that investment levels may be affected by factors other than real investment needs. According to the ITF, observers in many countries have raised concerns about under-funding of road assets and the state of existing road infrastructure and its impacts on the competitiveness of the economy. It claims funding for road maintenance may be postponed on the expectation that a lack of maintenance will not result in imminent asset failure.

Jari Kauppila from the ITF said, ‘Levels of transport spending may be guided by historical budget levels, institutional budget allocation procedures or budgetary constraints taking also into account needs in other sectors of the economy. As efficiency and productivity increase, production becomes less transport intensive, potentially weakening the link between the GDP growth and transport demand and therefore infrastructure investments.’

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