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.”