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Government needs to appoint chief engineer says ICE

ICE news

UK GOVERNMENT ministers should appoint a 'chief engineer' to drive long term policy on integrated transport and infrastructure development, the ICE said last month.

The Institution says the office would fulfil a role for transport similar to that performed by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) on health issues.

The CMO advises the government on public health matters but also drives policy issues to improve the public's health. The CMO is politically independent and appointed by the Civil Service Commission.

In a statement, the ICE said the government's 10 year transport plan issued in 2000 'has proven to be little more than empty promises, with inadequate investment and assumptions about continuing economic growth that have failed to materialise'.

Three ministers and three different government departments responsible for transport have offered 'no sense of continuity and little progress' when addressing decades of infrastructure under-investment.

The chief engineer, independent and 'free from party political constraints', would drive long term, sustainable policy decisions on infrastructure.

The government should also get cross-party agreement for a 'fully funded 20 year national transport and land use strategy' and 'address safety concerns across all forms of transport to re-establish public confidence and ensure a meltdown never happens'.

The call was timed to coincide with a BBC docudrama, The day that Britain stopped, which highlights Britain's infrastructure problems.

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