Govt launches infra productivity plan

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published a new programme to boost productivity in the infrastructure sector, as it refreshes the National Infrastructure Plan.

Speaking at the launch of the Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP) report today, Andrew Jones MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We are now in very different times – a new age. For the last 10 years the political debate was whether we should invest in infrastructure: 'what’s the point in doing so?' I don’t think that’s the question any more. It’s now how can we deliver that investment and realise the benefits of that investment.”

IPA chief executive Tony Meggs, (pictured), agreed saying: “The argument for infrastructure has been won and we are working together to actually deliver it.” He said he was now seeing a level of optimism from the industry, with 158 projects in the pipeline and all but three that have either been delivered or are being delivered.

The TIP aims to address a number of 'core issues' including prioritising investment in the right projects and improving productivity in delivery – in part by learning from other sectors to adopt digital and manufacturing technologies.

In the first two years of the plan, the IPA will establish a new benchmarking team to define cost and performance benchmarks, so that the public sector focuses more clearly on the outcomes it wants to achieve from a project before commissioning the scheme.

As part of the drive, the Department for Transport has also published its own Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy.

“World-leading projects such as Crossrail, the Ordsall Chord and the huge investment programme in our major roads show that Britain can deliver on time and on budget,” said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. “But we want to do better. This strategy shows the way and sets out our standards for how we will do more and better in future.”

Meanwhile, the IPA has also published the latest iteration of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, which contains £600bn-worth of projects over the next 10 years.