A survey carried out by CBI/URS has found that more than 50% of businesses expect strategic and local roads to worsen in the next five years.
According to the Infrastructure Survey, senior business leaders shows that in key areas of competitiveness, like energy and transport, 67% and 57% of businesses respectively expect infrastructure to worsen in the next five years. Respondents see the UK’s infrastructure as internationally weak too – lagging behind Australasia, North America and the EU, and with little improvement since the first survey in 2011.
Key findings include:
- UK business sees the road network continuing to deteriorate. More than half of UK companies (52%) report a worsening of motorways in the last five years, and 65% see the same in local roads
- The future is seen as equally bleak, with 77% and 86% of respondents expecting motorways and local roads to get worse or stay the same over the coming five years
- But 39% are confident that Highways Agency reform will have a positive impact – a figure that increases to 45% among infrastructure providers and construction firms
- Still, 80% of firms remain concerned about where investment for new roads is coming from, with 86% of all business leaders in the survey now backing greater private investment in the road network.
Katja Hall, CBI deputy-director-general, said: “Progress on infrastructure has been a case of two steps forward and three steps back for far too long. While the policy environment has improved, businesses still don’t see upgrades to mission-critical parts of our infrastructure on the ground in practice – and don’t expect to anytime soon.
“We’re at a crossroads. The next government must build on the successful policies of this Parliament, but we also need to see bold thinking and a renewal of the politics of infrastructure, finding a new way to agree upon and then consistently deliver the improvements we’ll need over the next fifty years – not just the next five.”