The much awaited Nichols report into management of the Highway's Agency's major roads programme was published today and made a series of recommendations for the Agency to implement including scrapping the format of the targeted programme of improvements (TPI) list.
It tells the Agency to replace the TPI list with a three stage process that starts with a requirements definition from the DfT, is followed by a development list and finally is fully costed in the construction stage.Written by Nichols Group chairman Mike Nichols for the Department for Transport, it points to construction inflation and unreliable estimates as key causes for cost overruns on road projects. 'A large increase in estimates has been reported over the last 18 months for schemes yet to begin construction. Around half of this is because construction industry inflation is running at about twice the Retail Price Index as assumed by the Treasury,' states the report 'The other half is divided roughly between inadequate estimates on one hand and scope delays and time changes on the other,' It also orders the Highways Agency to improve its management processes, strengthen its in house management capability and overhaul its risk management systems.The recommendations have been accepted by the Secretary of State for Transport. Read the report at www.nceplus.co.uk