More than 60 per cent of businesses believe the capital’s road network is getting worse according to the latest CBI/KPMG London Business Survey.
The survey of 188 London businesses, including smaller and medium sized firms (SMEs), reveals a growing confidence in the UK’s economic prospects, with 43% of respondents saying they are more optimistic about the economy than they were six months ago.
That optimism is reflected in the number of businesses (65%) expecting to expand over the next year.
The six-monthly survey reveals businesses leaders are unimpressed by Mayor Boris Johnson’s cable car scheme connecting Greenwich with the Excel centre. Just 13% believe it will be a “vital” transport link although 40% think it will be an “iconic crowd puller.”
The survey also shows that while half of businesses believe the Mayor’s flagship cycle hire scheme is a success, only 14% think its useful for work travel. The result follows the revelation in City Hall’s own annual survey that less than half of one per cent of Londoners use the bikes regularly.
Businesses believe the capital’s transport network needs improving with increased rail and road capacity and the expansion of Heathrow airport.
The survey notes that respondents “have by far a more negative perception of roads” than any other mode of transport with 62% saying the road network has deteriorated.
Perception of public transport is generally positive with around 23% saying the bus service is improving.
Although 20% say the state of the overall Tube service is improving, 11% think the service is getting “much worse” up from 4% six months ago and a further 22% say it is “getting worse.”
Sara Parker, CBI London Regional Director, said: “London is a great place to do business. Companies view the city’s talent pool, ease of access to global markets and proximity to clients as the capital’s biggest strengths, but high operating costs and the fragile transport system are seen as major weaknesses.”
“The roads network is the biggest transport concern for London firms who want one of the Mayor’s top priorities to be improving the city’s infrastructure.”