A survey of more than 1,000 directors has revealed many consider the new high speed rail line represents poor value for money.
Researchers for the Institute of Directors (IoD) found that HS2 is a long way down the list of transport priorities for many businesspeople.
The survey, which asked directors for their priorities for new investment as well as their views on the current state of Britain’s transport infrastructure, also revealed that business leaders think that improvements to existing roads are more important than new roads.
Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said: “Good transport infrastructure is crucial to IoD members up and down the country. Businesses are not happy with the current state of the UK’s infrastructure, but our survey of IoD members shows that directors want to see improvements to existing roads and rail services above all. In straightened times, choices will have to be made between some improvements to existing rail lines and a new high speed line, and we want to see the Government take the business view seriously.
“IoD members are enthusiastic about airport capacity expansion, but the planning system has held back development. We need to see bold and financially sound decisions made about upgrading our congested networks.”
Researchers found that 38 per cent of businesspeople surveyed think that the public spending required to build HS2 would represent poor value for money, compared with 30 per cent who think it would represent good value.
The survey shows 86 per cent of respondents think that investment in congested urban roads is important to their business, while 83 per cent think that improvements to existing motorways are important. By comparison, 49 per cent think that new motorways, and 37 per cent new local roads, are important.
It also found that IoD members are not happy with the current state of the UK’s transport infrastructure. A total of 82 per cent think that UK roads are too congested, while 61 per cent think that intercity rail fares are poor value for money.