Record number of businesses concerned about investment in road and rail

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

The hotly anticipated HS2 project

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

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

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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”.

Business leaders from across Yorkshire have long expressed frustration about the lack of investment in the region’s transport and broadband networks.

Over the summer, a number of influential figures added their voices to calls for the Government to step up its efforts to upgrade local rail links.

Commenting on the new report, CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn said firms have seen “a real commitment” from the Government on infrastructure over the last year.

However, she added that the 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,” Ms Fairbairn said.

“As the foundation for wider growth, world-class infrastructure is fundamental in driving productivity, and helps create jobs and raise living standards.

“Our message is as clear as it is simple – this is no time for discussion and delays, it’s time for delivery.”