A major new survey by the CBI and accountants KPMG highlighted the dire state of the country’s infrastructure and the urgent need to attract billions in new investment.
The CBI also wants to see “the Government raise its capital investment to pre-recession levels as soon as possible.”
Only 26% of firms quizzed saw the UK as a favourable destination for infrastructure investment.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “Firms across the country say that the infrastructure they depend on every working day is just not good enough and is stifling growth.
“We need ministerial decisions that get spades in the ground and people working now.
“There are large amounts of business capital waiting to be unlocked if the Government achieves a step-change on transport, for example with the introduction of road tolls.
“Capital investment must return to pre-recession levels at the earliest opportunity.”
The CBI has now set up a new infrastructure board to come up with ideas to attract investment.
The Government’s own National Infrastructure Plan acknowledges that £200bn of infrastructure investment is needed in the next five years alone, with 70% expected to come from the private sector.
Richard Threlfall, KPMG UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction, said: “Businesses are clear about the solutions needed – a clearer strategy from Government, faster planning approvals and less red tape.
“A lot now rides on the Growth Review and the update of the UK Infrastructure Plan due in the autumn.”