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ComRes survey highlights negative impact of 'boom and bust' rail funding
ComRes survey highlights negative impact of 'boom and bust' rail funding

ComRes survey highlights negative impact of ‘boom and bust’ rail funding

A survey undertaken by ComRes on behalf of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) reveals that business leaders believe the ‘boom and bust’ pattern of funding in the rail sector has had a negative impact.

An independent polling company, ComRes has produced findings that show the ‘boom and bust’ mentality can hinder businesses from investing in projects, hiring staff, and can even be fatal to the future of the company, particularly for SMEs.

According to the findings, more than two thirds of respondents (68%) believe that the term ‘boom and bust’ accurately describes the nature of government spending within the UK’s rail sector.

Almost all respondents (99%) say they experience peaks and troughs, with only 1% describing the pattern of spending as ‘smooth and consistent’.

Crucially, the vast majority of business leaders who took part in the ComRes study reveal these peaks and troughs in investment are negatively affecting their businesses.

The number of respondents who said this equates to 86%, while only 1% said this type of spending has been positive for their business.

Elsewhere in the poll, 96% of business leaders believe that the government has to do more to smooth out the peaks and troughs associated with rail spending, while just 4% think enough is being done by the government.

The ways in which organisations are affected are wide and varied, with 61% saying they have had to freeze recruitment during this boom and bust cycle; 50% have decided against employing people as a result, while 45% say it has meant not going ahead with investing funds in their organisation.

The RIA has already spoken about the need to end ‘boom and bust’ spending, and Darren Caplan, Chief Executive, said this research provides further evidence.

He said: “This new polling is further evidence, as if it were needed, that all parties need to redouble their efforts to end ‘boom and bust’ in rail funding once and for all.”

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