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Infrastructure delays ‘costing the UK billions’

Heathrow

Infrastructure delays are costing the UK more than £48,000 per minute, according to a new report from engineering consultant Arcadis.

A one-month delay in scheduled transport infrastructure spend would lead to more than £2bn in missed gross domestic product (GDP) over the coming five years, according to the Arcadis Spiralling Cost of Indecision report.

The timely warning comes as the civil engineering sector awaits government go-ahead for south east runway capacity and High Speed 2 (HS2).

The figures were achieved by comparing the 2015 and 2016 National Infrastructure Pipeline datasets and calculating estimated costs associated with delays, for example GDP from investment and additional design and build cost. Overall it estimates that over the next five years, the cumulative impact of delays in the pipeline could see the UK economy miss out on up to £35bn of investment-related GDP.

The research was carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

“Some of our most ambitious projects, from energy to state-of-the-art transportation, have huge potential to bolster the national economy. With delays being such a recurring issue when it comes to British infrastructure, we are potentially missing out on around £48,000 each and every minute. These are big numbers and we simply can’t afford to delay unnecessarily,” said Arcadis infrastructure client development director Chris Pike.

“Clearly, there are a number of reasons for projects not going ahead on schedule but, all too often, stalling could potentially be avoided or, if the impacts were clearly understood, decisions may be taken differently.

“It is clear that government needs to send a clear message to the world that Britain is open for business by progressing vital infrastructure projects at the earliest opportunity, without compromising safety or security. Equally, infrastructure owners and industry need to work together to deliver on these commitments, allowing post-Brexit Britain to reap the full benefit, along with the inevitable bounce effect that will result.”

Arcadis said the report explains why some infrastructure projects appear to overspend and it also calls on the government to support the status of the National Infrastructure Commission in its long-term planning role.

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