Businesses warn of 'crunch time' for roads and infrastructure


A record number of businesses are dissatisfied with the state of roads and other infrastructure in their region, a new study reveals.

Research by the CBI found that three out of five firms doubt if there will be any improvement during the current Parliament.

A survey of 727 companies showed that 54% were dissatisfied, an 8% increase on a year ago, while only one in five were happy with the pace of improvements.

The report pointed out that the UK ranked 27th in the world for the quality of its infrastructure, with most of those polled saying they lacked confidence that improvements will be made quickly because of policy "inconsistency".

CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn said: "We've seen a real commitment from the Government on infrastructure over the last year, from decisions on Heathrow and the A303 to pledges to scale up the supply of housing and clean energy.

"But our survey shows this is not translating into optimism about future improvements among both firms and the public, who are united in their concern about the pace of delivery for new projects.

"We've now reached crunch time for the UK's infrastructure. As the foundation for wider growth, world-class infrastructure is fundamental in driving productivity, and helps create jobs and raise living standards."

She added: "Our message is as clear as it is simple - this is no time for discussion and delays, it's time for delivery.

"This needs to be heard not just by Westminster, but by local and devolved governments, as making progress on smaller, local projects is just as important as the bigger projects."

Infrastructure firm AECOM, which helped with the report, said the main message from business was that more needed to be done to improve the UK's roads, railways and airport capacity.