The Chancellor should give priority to infrastructure projects that can deliver the greatest economic benefit, such as upgrading the A30 and A303, rather than providing funding to those next in the queue, according to one of the Westcountry's leading business figures.
Tim Jones, chairman of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Project, has backed a call from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for tomorrow's Autumn Statement to strategically choose schemes with greater potential to fuel economic growth.
At present, priority is given to infrastructure projects, such as road and rail maintenance, according to their order in the pipeline.
But Mr Jones, who is also chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, argues that by focusing first upon schemes such as improvements to the A303 and A30 – the second main highway between London and the South West – George Osborne will deliver greater economic benefit faster.
He said: "It is exactly the type of regional investment we think would be absolutely essential... the payback would be huge."