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Coackley: we must prevent ‘lost decade’

The next 10 years will be a “lost decade” where infrastructure “hinders rather than helps” the UK’s economy to grow if ministers do not deliver the promises made in the Plan for Growth, incoming ICE president Richard Coackley said last week.

He said that the plans had yet to be met with decisions on how to improve energy, transport and waste infrastructure. “Put simply, if our infrastructure networks continue to degrade, it will be harder for British business to compete internationally.”

Short term stimulus

He was critical of the idea of infrastructure being seen as a short-term stimulus for employment, adding that “the full value of a new road or improved railway line isn’t in the immediate number of new jobs the project demands - but in the advantage it provides to British industry to deliver goods and services more quickly and efficiently over the years and decades ahead.”

Coackley was speaking at the Infrastructure Show.

Infrastructure priority

With the publication of the Plan for Growth in March this year, the Government placed the need to renew national infrastructure as one of its priorities.

Coackley continued, “government is going to have to ensure it delivers on the promises made in the Plan for Growth.

“Securing our position as a leading global economy requires a realistic, strategic infrastructure vision.”
“With over £200bn required for this task over the next five years, we are now entering a critical time where these Government pledges must be matched with action.”

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