Public concerned UK 'is not getting it right' on infrastructure


A new survey has found that while 76% of the public agree investment in infrastructure is vital to economic growth, fewer than half think the UK is getting it right.

In a poll by Ipsos Mori, participants ranked housing supply (48%), flood defences (45%) and rail infrastructure (44%) as priorities for investment, with the local road network (36%) and ‘the motorway/major road network’ (32%) lower down the list.

Philip Hammond will give his Autumn Statement on 23 November

Slightly fewer than half (48%) of people questioned agreed that Britain has a poor record at getting national infrastructure projects right, although only 29% said they were dissatisfied with the country’s infrastructure.

The survey also found 44% backing for Government borrowing money to fund investment in better or more infrastructure as opposed to 16% against, while 42% said they were comfortable with the idea of foreign investment in new infrastructure compared to 20% that were opposed.

Ben Marshall, research director for infrastructure at Ipsos MORI, said: ‘This survey shows instinctive backing for the Government’s emerging approach to infrastructure; for example, more people back borrowing-to-build than don’t. Government action is likely to be most welcomed in terms of housing and rail but also flood defence and local roads.'

Two thirds (67%) of participants agreed that delays to infrastructure projects are justified if it means that local communities’ views can be heard properly.

The findings are part of a global study of views on infrastructure. Support for government borrowing to fund investment (44%) was higher in Britain than the global average (34%).

The chancellor's Autumn Statement will be on 23 November.


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