Will the UK’s Road Programmes and Schemes be Affected by the General Election? An Assessment

Now that the General Election has come and gone, most of us are faced with more questions than ever. This is particularly true when it comes to various road programmes and schemes planned by the government for the coming years. Although it’s true that Theresa May will continue to be the Prime Minister, along with the DUP’s support, it’s also true that we are now at a period of uncertainty, especially in regards to having a weaker government which may have an effect on a number of road projects. Along with this, we also have to contend with negotiations regarding Brexit, which are supposed to begin in about two weeks. This leaves many leading players in the infrastructure industry with some cause for concern.  

General Election - Road improvements

General Election - Road improvements

Some key players understandably concerned

 

One such body is the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, headed by its external affairs director, Marie-Claude Hemming. Ms. Hemming has stated that in a recent survey of its members, it has been shown that orders have dropped for the expertise of infrastructure specialists and contractors for the first three months of this year since the year 2013. Ms. Hemming added that since there is no clear control or leadership in the government, this creates a risk for a downturn in the future, particularly when it comes to finalising decisions. She further stated that they hope there is a resolution in the near future over the shape of the new UK government, which will allow major decisions to be made on various projects (particularly the HS2) so that work can begin on developing the right infrastructure needed by the country.

 

Another major body when it comes to the transport and infrastructure industry is the CIHT, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation. According to its chief executive, Sue Percy, investment and funding needs to be certain so that the current development of housing as well as industrial programmes and strategies will continue. She also stated that any investments made for the future should include the ongoing maintenance of the infrastructures vital for transport.

 

A project which may be affected

 

There is one major project or scheme for infrastructure that may well be placed under greater scrutiny. This project is the proposal for the development of the Crossing on the Lower Thames, which we have mentioned previously as well. The development of the Lower Thames Crossing is supported by the existing secretary for transport, Chris Grayling. The estimated cost for this project is at £6 billion or more.

 

But there is a slight problem. Labour has stated that it offers full support to the project, but if the project really is to push through, it wants the surety that the decision-making procedure or process will be robust and can provide the best value, especially for financial resources. We can only all wait and see.

Posted on 01 Jul 2017 in News

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