Failing transport system costs UK businesses £15bn a year

British
businesses lose at least £15bn a year because of the UK’s failing transport
infrastructure, according to research carried out for the British Chambers of
Commerce.

The
NOP poll found that 39 per cent of organisations believe travel issues have a
negative impact on recruitment. Nearly four out of 10 companies said their
growth potential is limited by transport infrastructure, and three quarters
said operating costs are increased by delays. Only 10 per cent believe the
transport infrastructure is adequate.

They
do not trust the Government to sort the problems out either, with only one in
50 business leaders believing the Government has an effective solution.

Employers
have little faith that the £7bn promised last year by the transport secretary,
Alistair Darling, to improve the road infrastructure, will make much
difference. A mere 2 per cent think the schemes to widen roads, create regional
traffic control centres and increase powers for the highways agency will
resolve the problems.

Traffic
jams are the biggest problem for employers, with 84 per cent saying they cause
a “loss of man hours”.

It
is not just the roads that employers are complaining about – the congested
state of the UK’s railways and airports also came under fire.

Recent
research by the Chartered Management Institute backs up these findings. It
found that two million working hours are wasted each week as managers get stuck
in traffic en route to work. These delays result in 79 per cent of managers
missing vital meetings, nearly one-fifth losing business opportunities, and 21
per cent being less productive.

By
Roisin Woolnough

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