CECA: Infrastructure 'slowing at worst rate since recession'

 

Infrastructure contractors have seen workloads slow at a faster pace than at any point since the last recession, according to a new poll.

”Local
Redevelopment of the seafront in Porthcawl, Wales

The results of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Workload Trends Surveys across the last six months show plummeting workload figures, with delays to major projects cited as a key concern.

According to CECA, which represents companies that undertake more than 80% of infrastructure construction in the UK, the figures covering Q4 2018  and  Q1 2019 showed the largest decline since 2012.

Workloads fell for a second consecutive quarter in Q1, according to 17% of British firms, on balance.

  • Seven out of 10 sectors reported falling workloads, on balance, with electricity recording the weakest balance since 2010 (-46%).
  • Order books decreased for 15% of firms, on balance, and only 6% expected an increase in workloads during the next 12 months.
  • Costs were reported to have increased for 91% of firms, in Q1, the highest balance on record.

Projects including HS2, rail electrifications and upgrades to the country’s motorways, as well as smaller regeneration schemes, seem to be held up, with CECA suggesting that uncertainty over Brexit could be the reason.

”Local
Image from CECA

CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: 'Our worry is that the Government’s public commitment to infrastructure is crumbling behind the scenes, with other political priorities meaning that this vital driver for growth and social wellbeing is being sidelined.

'The seemingly never-ending uncertainty regarding the UK’s future relationship with the European Union is having a clear and unambiguous effect on business confidence.

'At a time when the UK Government should be ensuring the infrastructure sector is driving growth in the economy, all we are seeing is delay upon delay to schemes, and prevarication when it comes to future investment.

'We call on the Government to take concrete steps to reverse this downward trend, by getting on with the delivery of projects that it has already publicly committed to deliver, unlocking jobs and growth across the country.'

The UK Government has promoted a pipeline of more than £600bn of investment in more than 700 projects nationwide.

Workload by type of work

The sector that reported the weakest balance in workloads in Q1 was electricity, with 46% of firms reporting a decline. This was the lowest balance in nine years.

  • Airports (-37%),
  • Local roads (-27%) marking the 15th consecutive quarter of decline
  • Railways (-20%) remained negative in Q1. For local roads, .
  • Water and sewerage (-19%)
  • Airports (-37%) also reported negative balances for a third consecutive quarter in Q1.

Three sectors experienced increases in workloads, on balance, in Q1.

  • Communications (54%),
  • Gas (6%) 
  • Motorways/trunk roads (2%)

All three reported positive balances in Q1.

Order books

Eight sectors reported a decrease in orders compared to 12 months ago, on balance.

  • Airports (-59%) the lowest since 2010 Q2
  • electricity (-45%) the joint lowest on record
  • water and sewerage (-22%),
  • preliminary works (-18%), and
  • gas (-7%) all remained negative in Q1.

Two sectors reported an increase in orders compared to 12 months ago, on balance.

  • Communications  (7%) -positive for a second quarter
  • motorways/trunk roads 4%

Future trends

On balance, only 6% of firms in Great Britain reported that workloads are expected to increase in the next 12 months, up marginally from 4% in 2018 Q4.

In England, this figure was 17%, in Wales 5% and in Scotland, expectations deteriorated for a fourth consecutive quarter, with 21% of the respondents expecting a fall in workloads over the next 12 months.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Transport Development Engineer

Bristol City Council
£22,021 - £23,836
An exciting opportunity has arisen in the Strategic Transport team for a junior engineer to join our Transport Development Management (TDM) team. Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Transport Development Management Co-ordinator

Bristol City Council
£38,813 - £41,675
An exciting opportunity has arisen within Transport Development Management (TDM) City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Contracts Manager - Core Service

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683 per year
The successful candidate will manage and maintain Highways partnerships and contractual arrangements to ensure effective, quality and value for... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Transport Inspectors – Land & Maritime Security

Department for Transport
£33,990 - £36,880
Looking for Transport Security Inspectors to join our team to focus on direct monitoring and assessing of industry compliance against... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Department for Transport

Lead Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 - £41,675 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Principal Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,788 - £35,934 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Project Officer - Air Quality

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £38,423
The successful candidate will ideally have a relevant degree or professional qualification. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Arborist

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£24.462 - £25.809
Seeking an experienced Climbing Arborist who has NPTC / LANTRA qualifications in chainsaw use and climbing operation units for an... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Environmental Enforcement Patrol Officer

Brent Council
£31,548 - £33,291 p.a. inc.
Looking for a person who has experience in undertaking enforcement work, carrying out awareness raising/promotional work.  Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Management Operative/Foreman

Balfour Beatty
Competitive
Are you a Traffic Management Operative/Foreman with Highspeed (12AB) Qualifications, looking for a new and exciting opportunity? If so read on..... Leatherhead, Surrey
Recuriter: Balfour Beatty

Principal Economic Growth Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £45,000 per annum
It is an exciting time to be joining the Economic Growth team at Essex County Council. Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Economic Infrastructure Manager

Essex County Council
Up to £57,000 per annum
It is an exciting time to be joining the Economic Growth team at Essex County Council Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Service - Highways

Sheffield City Council
£69,091 - £74,137
Looking for someone dynamic, with vision, energy, and an outward focus who can build strong relationships with all key partners, stakeholders with... Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Sheffield City Council

Senior Transport Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£33,799 - £35,934
You will be responsible for assisting the Team Manager with the day to day operational management and delivery of the transport service.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

PCN Appeals Officer

Brent Council
£26,745 - £30,711 p.a. inc.
Looking for an experienced parking professional to join the Notice Processing Team. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Environmental Protection Officer

London Borough of Sutton & The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames
£25,809 to £33,291 (Grade F-G) / £33,291 to £42,684 (Grade H-I)
As an Environmental Protection Officer, you will be part of a small multidisciplinary team delivering a range of statutory environmental functions... Kingston Upon Thames (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Sutton & The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Environmental Protection Team Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£44.607 - £47.511
We would like to hear from exceptional candidates with broad pollution control experience and a can-do attitude who... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highways Gang Leader

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
An exciting opportunity for a Highways Gang Leader has arose based at Taylors Lane, Oldbury. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Road Agreements Team Leader OCC5803

Oxfordshire County Council
£49,522 - £56,481 per annum
Take the next step in your career - click here to find out more information. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Highways and Street Lighting Manager

London Borough of Bromley
Circa £43,000 per annum
Seeking an experienced professional with experience in highway, street lighting and traffic engineering. Bromley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bromley