Public transport is stifling UK business

A new study shows that a whopping two thirds (64 percent) of UK business leaders believe that the UK's crappy transport network is failing UK plc.

According to over 100 directors of £100m-turnover-plus firms, almost one week a month is lost through the ineffectiveness of public transport for business travel.

This is a damning indictment of the state of the UK transport system. Most of the business leaders surveyed have chosen to abandon public transport completely; 70% opt to travel via their own steam in a private car.

Use Skype and teleconferencing instead, you exclaim. Well, the overwhelming majority of business leaders believe face-to-face meetings are still essential. It may be the 21st century, but a firm handshake and a bit of chemistry still counts for something.

That's not to say that this lot are technophobes: More than half use webcams and video calls and internet telephony such as Skype.

So, what does this mean for the future relationship between UK business and public transport? Over a quarter of those surveyed said they would use trains less frequently if fares continue to rise above inflation. As the government has announced that from 2012 rail fares are likely to go up by 3% above inflation, it seems fairly likely that more and more business leaders will defect to other forms of transport.

On the plus side, you and I might get a seat in the morning.

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