By Maximilian Clarke

The proposed HS2 high speed rail link is 'a long way down the list of business transport priorities', a survey of 1,200 business leaders carrier out by the Institute of Directors (IoD) reveals.

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 reveals that business leaders think that improvements to existing roads are more important than new roads.

The IoD's survey echoes the scepticism of a report carrier out by free market think-tank, the Adam Smith Institute, which called into question the benefits cited by proponents of the £32bn scheme, labelling it an economically flawed white elephant. But both organisations' reports are refuted by a recent transport select committee study which confirms the alleged benefits, calling it a necessary boost to the country's infrastructure.

“Good transport infrastructure is crucial to IoD members up and down the country," commented Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors. "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.”

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