More than 80 per cent of businesses in Greater Brighton are concerned about the state of local transport with congestion and lack of parking high on the agenda, according to a new survey.

And more than 25 per cent believe the issues are affecting recruitment and business growth the survey finds.

While concerns about the over-congested South Coast are long standing the survey reveals the full extent of the impact on the economy of choked roads and densely-packed communities.

More than 1,500 businesses, either solely based or with national headquarters here or elsewhere, were questioned for the survey carried out on behalf of the Greater Brighton region. The aim is to build a comprehensive picture of business need now and in the future so that the region can aid growth and the creation of jobs.

The picture painted of the business community reveals that 86 per cent of companies employ ten or fewer people while 44 per cent of the entire workforce is employed by just three per cent of businesses.

The report, produced by BMG Research in partnership with the locally-based Institute for Employment Studies, points out this makes for a diverse base but stresses the need to help larger employers drive for growth through innovation as a way of creating more jobs.

The survey highlighted that firms remain optimistic about growth with 35 per cent expecting growth and only 11 per cent decline. About 19 per cent of companies export which is in line with national trends.

Virtually all respondents felt that being in Greater Brighton had benefits including the attractiveness of the area and lifestyle, good market access and digital connectivity. Most firms said they were happy to stay in the area.

Chairman of Greater Brighton, Cllr Daniel Humphreys, said: “This survey is enormously helpful to the Region helping us understand how we can help our businesses. It will help shape the future support with are able to give them.

“We know transport and congestion in particular remains a major concern for businesses, and armed with these findings we will continue to press government and Highways England for action. However it is also good to know that we are still playing to our strengths, giving businesses a great location to go about their work, good connectivity, a great place to live.”

The full report of the Greater Brighton Business Survey can be found here.