Belfast Telegraph

More Northern Ireland businesses believe rail network has deteriorated

Northern Ireland’s infrastructure has been given a mixed report by our companies.

Businesses here are the least critical of any UK region |regarding the level of deterioration of motorways and trunk roads over the past five years.

But in only one other region of the UK — the north-east of England — were companies more critical of the state of their rail network. Many more Northern Ireland companies believe our rail network has got worse in the past five years than believe it has improved — a net negative figure of 23%.

A report, produced by KPMG for the CBI, found that two |out of three businesses do not believe that the UK government’s infrastructure improvement plans will have any tangible positive impact. It concluded that the UK has been left far behind by Australasia and North America in terms of infrastructure quality.

KPMG infrastructure partner Richard Threlfall said: “For |UK business it is about profitability and international |competitiveness. It is about transport networks that get supplies in and products delivered on time, energy supply that is dependable at lowest cost and digital networks that offer fast connectivity anytime, anywhere. Sadly the business verdict remains that UK infrastructure is not up to scratch.”

The CBI is calling for capital allowances on infrastructure projects to boost investment;  greater certainty on investment returns for energy projects; |an acceleration of transport |feasibility studies to enable planning to be fast tracked; |and improved collaboration between government and industry to create a long-term plan for the UK’s digital infrastructure.

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