Traffic congestion threat to London growth

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Worsening traffic congestion is a major concern to London’s businesses, a CBI/KPMG London Business Survey has revealed.

The survey found that companies are more optimistic about prospects for the economy over the next six months, however, the capital’s roads continue to be the main concern for business with a majority saying the roads are getting worse or much worse.

Some 54 per cent of London’s businesses rate the roads as getting worse, up from 42 per cent at the end of last year The top three concerns for the capital’s road network are congestion (90 per cent said that they are somewhat or very concerned), quality of road surfaces (87 per cent) and disruption caused by road-works (82 per cent)
London’s firms highlighted the priorities for the capital’s roads as the implementation of smarter traffic management systems, moving more journeys from roads to other means of transport, greater flexibility for deliveries and the construction of new tolled underground tunnels.

Sara Parker, CBI Director London, said: “Being able to get from A to B is a significant factor for business investment decisions so London’s companies want new airport capacity, improvements to roads, a commitment to Crossrail 2 and better access to London’s airports.”

The majority of the capital’s firms are also optimistic about the prospects for their business over the next six months and over two-thirds have plans to expand over the next year, with a slight increase in the number looking to do so in London.

Richard Reid, London chairman at KPMG said: “As London’s population increases it becomes more urgent that the City has infrastructure that works properly. Building more roads in London is not an option so smarter management of our already overloaded system, through improved bus times, better use of existing road space for essential vehicles and possible road tolling, particularly in congested peaks, will be required to keep the city moving and to keep on attracting companies to base themselves here.”

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