Almost three quarters (73%) of the British public agree that investing in infrastructure is vital to the country’s future economic growth but 58% do not believe enough is being done to meet infrastructure needs.
The findings come from the latest Global Infrastructure Index survey conducted by Ipsos MORI in partnership with the Global Infrastructure Investor Association (GIIA) in 29 countries across the world, including Britain. The survey collected ratings of 10 infrastructure sectors with airports (67%), and water supply and sewerage (64%) performing particularly strongly, and flood defences (35%, rail infrastructure (33%) and new housing supply (31%) faring worst.
Britain’s water supply and sewerage compares most favourably internationally, whilst its rail infrastructure and new housing supply compare least favourably.
The British public is similar attitudinally to people in other parts of the world. But they are less convinced that their local area gets its fair share of the country’s investment in infrastructure; Britain ranks 22nd out of 29 countries.
57% believe not enough is done to involve people in decisions about which infrastructure to invest in. Compared to several other G8 countries, Britons are relatively more open to foreign investment in new infrastructure if it means it gets built more quickly (more say they are comfortable with this than are not, by a margin of two and a half to one – 42% to 17%).
Andy Rose, CEO of GIIA, said:
This survey emphasises the need for Governments around the world to prioritise creating the right environment for investment in infrastructure and Britain is no exception. The public are relatively more positive about sectors where private investment features prominently although there remains room for improvement.
Climate change, technological advances and ageing populations all pose unprecedented challenges for governments in delivering their future infrastructure needs at a time when public sector balance sheets are under increasing strain. Governments and regulators should be focussed on the outcomes of good quality infrastructure and working with the private sector to find the best ways to deliver, operate and improve our infrastructure for the benefit of future generations.
Ben Marshall, Research Director at Ipsos MORI, commented:
Last year, rail infrastructure overtook housing as the new top infrastructure priority for Britons. It remains there this year with the local road network catching up (with new housing supply also in joint second place).
Infrastructure has something of an image problem – here as elsewhere. In the public’s eyes there is a role for greater equity in directing investment and there is scope to reduce a perceived democratic deficit. But we continue to see an appetite for more to be done, and more to be invested in infrastructure.
The Global Infrastructure Index survey finds almost three quarters (73%) of the public agreeing that investing in infrastructure is vital to their country’s future economic growth but only 32% rating their country’s infrastructure positively and 59% unconvinced that enough is being done to meet infrastructure needs.
Europe scored the lowest of any region in terms of overall satisfaction, with only 26% of Europeans saying they are satisfied with their national infrastructure compared with 32% globally. Overall satisfaction has declined in Europe but also in G8 nations and globally since the previous Global Infrastructure Index in summer 2017.
In terms of sectors, airports (67%), digital (54%) and water supply and sewerage (52%) perform particularly strongly. The top priorities for investment worldwide are improving local roads (chosen by 45%) and water supply and sewerage (43%). Motorways (42%), flood defences 41%) and rail infrastructure (40%) also featured among top-ranked sectors.
- The GIIA/Ipsos Infrastructure Index involved 20,286 people sampled via Ipsos Global Advisor in 29 countries (samples sizes were either 500 or 1,000 in each country): Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Great Britain (1,006), Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America
- Surveys were conducted online between 24 August and 7 September 2018 among adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, 18-65 in Czech Republic and adults aged 16-64 in all other countries
- Data has been weighted to known country population profiles
- View the 2017 survey results
- View the 2016 survey results