More money must be invested in Britain's overloaded transport system if the economy is to thrive, the CBI said today as it published a new survey of businesses and their staff.
The GfK NOP survey, conducted for the CBI, underscores transport's vital importance to companies and employees. But it reveals widespread dissatisfaction with the nation's infrastructure, and expectations that things will deteriorate further.
Fifty-one per cent believe the reputation of the UK as a place to do business is being significantly harmed by transport problems, whilst 48 per cent said their company's own reputation has suffered.
Sixty-three per cent of companies in the survey said they expected the transport system to get worse in the next five years compared to only 15 per cent who think it will improve.
Forty-eight per cent of companies said that transport problems were having a substantial impact on their profitability, 40 per cent said their business' growth was significantly affected, and 33 per cent said the problems were having a notable impact on investment in their company.
Business has tried to tackle these problems itself - 57 per cent have introduced more flexible working and 49 per cent have altered delivery schedules or logistics. But 93 per cent of employers and 86 per cent of workers believe these alone cannot overcome the problems, and that extra investment is key.
Sir Digby Jones, Director-General of the CBI, said: "Although transport spending has risen in recent years, there are decades of under-investment to deal with and it is clear that business still finds it far too difficult to get its goods to market and its people to work.
He added : "Politicians of all parties will come unstuck if they allow transport to continue its slide down the political agenda in favour of more obviously voter-friendly issues. Transport is not just a business issue, it affects everyone - and they ignore it at their peril."
In Brighton & Hove, congestion is an all too familiar story. Brighton & Hove is a destination economy, which depends heavily on attracting visitors into the city centre, yet a recent survey found that 30% of car journeys into towns and cities are abandoned because people cannot find anywhere to park.
It is clear that action must be taken and the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership and Business Forum are supporting Park & Ride as a means of tackling these issues.
If you support Park & Ride, write to Brighton & Hove Business Forum, 8-11 Pavilion Buildings Brighton BN1 1EE or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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