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One in three government projects is running late

Government attempts to create certainty about future projects hit a snag this week after official figures showed that many projects could be delayed.

Only 68% of proposed government construction projects are on schedule, according to Treasury figures published this week.

Of 589 projects listed as being planned but not yet approved, just 400 are shown as being on schedule according to the Treasury’s latest update of the government’s £40bn construction project pipeline.

All 43 schemes listed as confirmed or started are on schedule. They are all Highways Agency schemes.

The update provides more detail on projects in the original pipeline first published in November alongside last week’s National Infrastructure Plan update (News last week).

632 projects

The government-funded construction pipeline now details 632 projects and programmes proposed or in construction and worth around £40bn of investment over four years to 2014/15.

This figure excludes rail and other regulated and private sector infrastructure investment.

The government hopes to eventually account for all central government construction spend.

The construction pipeline also now includes information on 554 local authority highways projects, although this is based on unvalidated data from a survey of 73 local authorities by local authority transport chiefs group Adept.
According to this data, only half of these projects are on schedule.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Ceca) external affairs director Alastair Reisner said the document was useful but that more had to be done to make the data reliable.

“Ceca has been a long-term supporter of this initiative as we recognise the benefits to clients and contractors alike,” he said.

The construction pipeline will be now updated on a six monthly basis. The more detailed Infrastructure Investment Pipeline data, which includes privately funded and regulated spend from clients such as energy companies, water utilities and Network Rail will continue to be refreshed annually.

The government has also published an initial analysis of the industry’s strategic capability, using tunnelling as an example and identifying some of the skills and changes required to meet future demand.

Reisner said it was surprising it had not been produced sooner.

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