At least £15 billion is wasted in traffic jams every year – through lost time, wasted fuel and missed appointments – and 87% of businesses cite road congestion as a significant problem.
Furthermore, 99% of companies said they depended on the roads for their daily activities, and congestion was causing major problems. And unless the Government invests more cash in the roads in future, it could severely hamper Britain's economic growth.
Edmund King, executive director at the RAC Foundation, which produced the report, said: 'We claim to be the fourth largest economy in the world so surely we can afford a decent road system to support economic growth?
'The Government must not be tempted to prop up the railways with extra expenditure taken from the roads budget and should publish the full economic returns on all road and rail schemes.
We need a new approach to transport planning to meet the longer-term needs of industry, the regions and individuals.'
The survey, called 'Getting Business Moving', polled almost 2,000 British Chamber of Commerce members. It showed that 76% of businesses have reported a surge in operating costs as a result of transport failings.
Firms are relying on roads more than ever with 55% of respondents citing urgent increases in road capacity as a priority above rail.
King said the Government must prioritise the UK road infrastructure above air and rail networks.
He said: 'The Government is right to plan ahead to meet the needs for air transport.
'Businesses need to see a similar vision for strategic roads, which carry the vast bulk of passengers and freight. We don't want growing congestion to cripple commerce.'
Last week fleets were warned that two major roadwork schemes could cause years of traffic misery for company car drivers
Business findings from survey