News Item: Delivery of Key Infrastructure Projects Questioned as Construction Output Falls

The National Infrastructure Forum is a network of investors, contractors, consultants and other stakeholders. The UK Government’s infrastructure project pipeline is so misleading; it is causing instability in the construction industry.

The Forum states that only £30.24bn of the £413bn of road; rail and energy projects previously announced by government are proposed schemes, with a realistic chance of being developed.

Most of the others are either already under construction and so do not help contractors make future plans, or “lack the detail required by contractors to gear up for procurement”.

These range from the projects being too vague, to requiring either planning consent or finance. The report urges the government to produce a smaller, more tightly defined, list of projects, approved for delivery and definitely going ahead.

The Forum adds that the poor pipeline of work leads to volatile and unpredictable demand. Future funding models for major schemes remain unclear as alternatives are sought to Private Finance Initiative.

Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that construction output in December 2018 fell by 2.8 per cent, the largest monthly fall since June 2012.