Better roads and more skilled labour will aid growth says survey.

Construction growth is being hindered by an inadequate UK transport infrastructure according to a new survey. Around 30% of building contractors and product suppliers surveyed in the Construction Industry Trade Survey said that congestion and the inadequacy of the road network was having a serious impact on their business.

The survey complied jointly by the Construction Confederation and the Construction Products Association also found that one fifth of small to medium building contractors had to turn down work because of labour shortages.

The survey concluded that the construction industry had enjoyed sustained growth during the second quarter of the year, driven largely by activity in the private housing sector and higher government investment. The surveys other main findings were that:

  • 32% of contractors reported increased output volumes on a year ago.
  • A net balance of 12% of building contractors reported above normal order books and 55% of product manufacturers anticipated increased second quarter sales volumes.
  • Manufacturers identified higher raw material costs as a particular area of concern.
  • Contractors reported that they still had difficulties recruiting skilled workers such bricklayers, electricians, carpenters and plasterers.

Construction confederation chief executive Stephen Ratcliffe said that higher interest rates were expected to dampen private housing activity over the coming months. He said: “The timely delivery of promised government investment in areas such as health, education and social housing is now key to both securing value for money and helping sustain industry conference, investment and training.”