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Businesses call for faster paced infrastructure action

Around 62% UK businesses are concerned with the pace of progress on delivery of infrastructure projects, according to a new report jointly published by CBI and Aecom.

The Infrastructure Survey also found that more than half of the 722 firms question believe they won’t see necessary upgrades delivered in the next five years.

The questionnaire also determined that quality of infrastructure is “a key deciding factor in planning investments” for 94% or respondents.

“Political procrastination over infrastructure threatens economic growth and jeopardises investment,” said Aecom chief executive for civil infrastructure in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa Richard Robinson. “When infrastructure decisions are deferred, business takes the hit. The challenge for government is to build business confidence, fostering a financial and operational climate that accelerates delivery.

“Industry needs the government to maintain a clear and consistent vision, and to have the courage to make politically charged decisions when they are in the long-term interests of the country. Delays and never-ending reviews of vital infrastructure stall progress and help nobody.

“Recent moves such as the creation of a National Infrastructure Commission and the mapping of expertise against the project pipeline through the National Infrastructure Plan for Skills are welcome initiatives. But more needs to be done to support the development of UK companies’ intellectual assets and to create an environment that encourages the development and export of organisational and technical skills. Only then will UK firms be better equipped to compete on the global stage.”

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