Come to London, the roads are paved with gold. Well, they may be but there's a heck of a lot of traffic sitting bumper to bumper on top obscuring the view, so who knows.According to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG, London businesses are optimistic about their prospects in the next six months.

However, the capital's roads remain a huge issue, with a majority of the 144 businesses that took part of the view that they are either "getting worse" or "getting much worse". Sound familiar? Should do, the RHA made the very same point in the summer.

Sara Parker, CBI director London, said: "The capital's congested streets continue to be a concern with over half saying the roads are getting worse and nearly as many expecting the road network to deteriorate over the next five years."

Of course London Mayor Boris Johnson is aware of this challenge and his Roads Task Force have got the ball rolling on how to improve things enough to cope with an expected jump in population of 1.7 million to 10 million by 2031 (TfL has just launched an out-of-hours consortium as part of this).

Linking into this - and the task force's own suggestion made this summer - the CBI survey finds popular support for more out-of-hours deliveries among survey respondents.

It describes respondents as "enthusiastic about new ideas to improve the capital's road network", such as greater flexibility for freight, including trialling out-of-hours deliveries.

So far London's councils have been, post-Olympics, distinctly lukewarm on an increase in deliveries at night and early morning. But if the business community, especially retailers, can be won over, a more flexible future for freight may well be on the cards.

Transport findings
  • 54% of London’s businesses rate the roads as getting worse, up from 42% at the end of last year.
  • The top three concerns for the capital’s road network are: congestion (90% said that they are somewhat or very concerned); quality of road surfaces (87%); and disruption caused by road-works (82%).
  • London’s firms highlighted the priorities for the capital’s roads as the implementation of smarter traffic management systems, moving more journeys from roads to other means of transport, greater flexibility for deliveries and the construction of new tolled underground tunnels.