By Marcus Leach

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have said that economic growth is being hampered by too many UK transport projects being stuck in the "slow lane".

The BCC highlighted that of 13 current key schemes only three are currently going ahead, with a further two having some funding. However the remainder are on hold.

Investment promised by successive governments remains slow, and "bold action" was needed, the BCC said.

"While the government has taken important steps to boost infrastructure funding and delivery since the first budget, the updated assessment shows that too many transport projects, which are crucial to business growth, are stuck in the slow lane," the BCC said.

"We need bold action from the government to improve the UK's transport infrastructure," said BCC director of policy, Adam Marshall.

"This kind of investment is insulated from global uncertainty, and it creates short-term confidence, jobs in the medium term, and improves the UK's competitiveness in the long term".

The three projects going ahead are:

- [/b]Birmingham Motorway Box:[/b] introducing new methods to allow variable speed limits and use of the hard shoulder at peak times on the M5, M6, M40 and M42, with work due to be completed in spring 2014;

- [/b]Forth Replacement Bridge:[/b] replacing the current road bridge with a motorway-standard two-lane crossing, to be completed by 2016;

- Crossrail, London: Work on the cross-London rail link is well under way and expected to be fully operational in 2019, improving capacity across the capital.

However, Transport Minister Norman Baker said he was confident the government was delivering.

"Making sure that the country has the transport network it needs to deliver economic growth is a top priority for us," he said.

Mr Baker highlighted the planned High Speed 2 new rail route, "substantial investment" to increase capacity on the East Coast rail route over the next two years, and £3bn to spend on road schemes.

"We are confident that the approach we are taking will deliver the infrastructure the country needs for business to flourish."

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