Infrastructure chiefs have suggested bureaucracy is now a bigger problem than a lack of government funding, while a majority have backed proposals for a Department for Infrastructure.
A survey of 300 decision makers in the sector, taken by pollsters Ipsos Mori, found 83% wanted less red tape compared with 73% that wanted increased government investment.
Interestingly of those who called for more government spending over the next five years, over three quarters (77%) also felt that it should be the private sector that leads the way in funding new schemes.
Almost 80% of respondents said the timescale for projects could be reduced if there was greater collaboration across supply chains. And 72% called for a Department for Infrastructure, which could help facilitate such private and public collaboration.
Leading infrastructure firm Tarmac, which commissioned the survey, celebrated a buoyant mood in the sector, with 68% of respondents ‘confident’ about the overall outlook for the next year.
Cyrille Ragoucy, Tarmac’s chief executive, said: ‘It’s great to see the construction industry is in a confident mood, but there is no room for complacency. Challenges remain in meeting the UK’s infrastructure requirements and there is concern about the delivery in the years ahead.
‘However, the industry signals a clear intent to work more collaboratively with all parties to deliver a step change in infrastructure for the UK.’
The survey also revealed a significant majority supported a greater role for local decision-making.
There was strong support (72%) for councils being able to decide about infrastructure projects locally, backed by a further majority of 61% who feel the devolution agenda would help deliver local schemes.