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More civils cash needed

Adrian Dyball of CECA calls for higher spending on all forms of infrastructure

Chairman of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Southern) region, Adrian Dyball, this week renewed calls for higher long-term investment in infrastructure.

Speaking at the CECA (Southern) annual dinner, he complained that infrastructure investment had not kept pace with the growth of the UK economy or the growth of the population.

"This lack of investment is not just an inconvenience; it is a millstone around our country's neck," he said.

"It hampers the growth of the economy; it causes misery to millions of commuters; and it causes great damage to our industry."

Dyball criticised the government's approach to transport infrastructure and pointed of the recent government commissioned Eddington transport study. This concluded that there had been decades of under-investment in transport infrastructure.

"How very illuminating!" he said. "Never in the cause of getting nowhere have so many trees had to die in vain."

Dyball said that there was still no clarity about the overall long-term investment plan that, he said, the road network so desperately needed.

He said that tackling road congestion was the priority but complained that the UK's railway was the "most expensive train network in the world", with passengers packed like sardines.

He also criticised the water industry, highlighting the recent hosepipe ban in the south east, the summer floods and the fact that "we still have raw sewage being pumped into the River Thames on a regular basis throughout the year" as evidence of failure.

"All of this is completely unacceptable in any city – let alone one that purports to be a world-class city that's soon to be hosting the Olympic Games.

"If we are to get the future infrastructure that this country deserves – we need a coherent long-term strategy for delivering it that can be taken outside of the political agenda," he said.

"We should not underestimate the importance of what our industry does," Dyball concluded.

"We build and maintain the infrastructure of our country, and that means we have collective responsibility to speak out and be clear about the current state of the infrastructure.

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