CBI: Infrastructure survey 2012: Focus on delivery
Business issues

Infrastructure survey 2012: Focus on delivery

The second CBI/KPMG infrastructure survey highlights the need for government to focus on infrastructure delivery. While the last year has seen a wide range of promising policy initiatives, lack of action on the ground is damaging business confidence

The CBI/KPMG infrastructure survey, conducted in June and July 2012, provides a business-wide assessment of the state of the UK’s economic infrastructure networks. The survey underlines the critical role that infrastructure plays in making the UK an attractive place to do business and in helping firms to take advantage of growth opportunities both here and abroad.

Press release: Firms want relentless focus on delivery >>    
Infographic: findings of this year’s survey >>    
Read the full report (pdf) >>

Infrastructure lies at the heart of the government’s growth strategy and many of the initiatives announced in the last year have been welcomed by business, but slow progress in agreeing deals lies behind companies’ nervousness about the future of UK networks.

The survey reveals that only a minority of companies are confident that transport, energy and water networks will improve in the near future. Almost three quarters (73%) doubt that transport infrastructure will improve in the next five years, with companies particularly critical of the standard of local road and motorway networks. Links to emerging markets are also a concern for businesses: almost half (48%) of respondents are dissatisfied with their connections to these economies.

Companies also have concerns about the future of energy networks, with two thirds (67%) stating that these links are unlikely to improve in the next five years. In addition, 95% of businesses are worried about the impact of rising energy costs.

Where the delivery strategy is working well, as is the case for digital infrastructure, companies are much more positive about the future. Over 80% of companies report improvements to the UK’s digital infrastructure over the last five years and a similar proportion believe that improvements will continue to be made over the next five years. In addition, more companies think these networks are above international benchmarks than below.

Other key findings from the survey include:

Transport and digital networks are an important consideration in investment decisions for over 80% of companies. Energy costs impact investment for nearly three quarters (74%)

  • Nearly two thirds (61%) think the UK’s infrastructure compares unfavourably to other EU countries
  • 77% of companies in London are satisfied with their domestic transport connections, but only 44% of companies in the North West and North East and 41% of companies across the Midlands are satisfied
  • The availability of direct flights to emerging economies is a concern, with 54% of companies who deem direct flights to China as crucial saying they are dissatisfied with their current availability

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