Three quarters of businesses don't expect any infrastructure improvement this parliament

Rebecca Smith
Businesses aren't seeing light at the end of the tunnel for speedy infrastructure progress
Businesses aren't seeing light at the end of the tunnel for speedy infrastructure progress (Source: Getty)

The majority of businesses do not think there will be any infrastructure improvements in this parliament, citing policy inconsistency and political risk as the main reasons why.

According to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Aecom, three quarters of firms do not expect any improvement over this parliament, while only a fifth of firms are satisfied with the pace of delivery on projects.

Read more: Grayling: Need for Heathrow expansion is greater than originally thought

Most acknowledged infrastructure as important to the government's agenda, with the backing of Heathrow expansion and the progression of the Elizabeth Line, but businesses lack confidence in the speedy delivery of such developments, with most pointing to policy inconsistency and political risks.

For the first time, the survey also included the public's view on infrastructure progress too, which largely mirrored those of firms, with a quarter believing infrastructure delivery is satisfactory and three-quarters also pessimistic about improvement during the course of this parliament.

For the business poll, 727 firms were surveyed, while 1,668 adults took part for the public polling.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI's director-general, 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."

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. Firms will not be forgiving if this focus slips.

Read more: Here are Britain's infrastructure priorities from now to 2050

Related articles