Britpave: The British In-Situ Concrete Paving Association

Infrastructure sector welcomes government's commitment

Britpave, the infrastructure sector group, has welcomed government assurances that the 2015 General Election will not stop the programme for infrastructure investment.

Delivering the keynote address at the recent ACE Annual Conference, ‘Integrating infrastructure, shaping our future’, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton confirmed that there will be no hiatus in infrastructure investment and the focus will remain on the sector being a means of growing the economy. He said: “the Autumn Statement will continue to fill out the capital programme for the next seven years and it will be tough to change course”, and confirmed that the “government wanted to be as proactive as it could in getting infrastructure built”.

Welcoming the infrastructure assurances, James Charlesworth, Britpave Chairman said: “The need to recognise the economic value of infrastructure investment has long been argued by Britpave as well as the need for government commitment and programme certainty. Such commitment and certainty would give the infrastructure sector the confidence to invest in its workforce and plant in order to deliver efficient and cost-effective infrastructure solutions”.

Lord Deighton highlighted four areas that the government needs to focus on in order to ensure the delivery of its infrastructure programme. These include the need own and deliver the National Infrastructure Plan, the need to make sure that the right level of funding is available, the need to reform and streamline the planning process and the need to ensure that it has the central and local capability for successful project delivery.

Investment in an efficient and well-maintained transport infrastructure is key for economic growth. Yet the UK’s infrastructure is languishing at 28 in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14 behind Malaysia at 25 and Barbados at 24. Crucially, the UK trails well behind its European business competitors with France ranked 6th, German 9th and Spain 12th.

“If the government delivers on its infrastructure assurances then the UK could be on course to have the levels of programme commitment and investment necessary for the delivery of a modern and efficient transport infrastructure,” said Charlesworth. “This would increase the UK’s attractiveness to business investment.”