04 November 2016
Firms worried UK’s infrastructure state will hamper ability to compete
Most companies believe the state of Britain's infrastructure will hamper competitiveness in the coming years, a study shows.
Research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) shows that top priorities for companies include investments in the rail network, motorways and main roads.
Almost 60% of the 728 companies surveyed believe the state of Britain's infrastructure could hit the UK's international competitiveness in the coming decades.
Most firms are not optimistic that infrastructure in aviation, energy and roads will get better over the next five years, with confidence declining over the past 12 months.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director general, believes infrastructure is a "key driver" of productivity and living standards and is at the heart of a long-term economic agenda.
She said: "Announcements and commitments are one thing. Seeing tarmac, tracks, and super-fast internet cables being laid is another.
"It isn't right that nearly one in two firms are dissatisfied with their region's infrastructure, or that confidence in the future is running low, especially when it comes to delivery, the key piece of the infrastructure puzzle."
Responding to the study, a Department for Transport spokesman says the Government is delivering a "record" £70 billion investment in rail, roads, ports and airports.
"Within this, we are funding the biggest rail modernisation programme since Victorian times and the most extensive improvements to roads since the 1970s," the spokesman said.
"Work is due to get under way on HS2, and Crossrail is set to open in 2018.
"We also gave the go-ahead for Heathrow, which will bring benefits to passengers and the wider economy worth up to £61 billion."