Sunday 15 September 2013 11:04 pm

Coalition urged to dig deeper on infrastructure

BUSINESSES want the government to work harder on getting big infrastructure projects off the ground, a poll of more than 500 firms out today shows. 

Company bosses are losing confidence in the coalition’s ideas for upgrading roads, railways and energy networks, with just 35 per cent now believing the upgrades will have a positive effect over the next five years, down from 39 per cent two years ago. 
Today’s survey by the CBI and consultancy KPMG found that a mere 28 per cent of respondents expect the UK’s global air links to improve in the next five years. Domestic transport is also a bugbear, with 49 per cent dissatisfied, up from 28 per cent two years ago. 
But energy overtook transport as the biggest concern this year, with just 23 per cent of companies expecting Britain’s power stations and grids to get better in the next five years, despite the government’s efforts to push through energy market reforms and attempts to secure private sector backers for new nuclear schemes.
“I know that ministers share my enthusiasm for progress, but government has talked the talk on infrastructure for the last two years with too few signs of action,” said CBI director-general John Cridland. 
A Treasury spokesperson said that the government is focused on delivering its infrastructure plans.