Transport secretary Chris Grayling has launched a new transport infrastructure efficiency strategy and taskforce to tackle barriers to delivery and value for money.
The strategy outlines seven challenges that need to addressed including basing investment decisions on the value of whole-life cycle costs and benefits, consideration of broader outcomes such as building skills and capacity within the supply chain, innovation, regional re-balancing and clean growth.
It has been produced by Highways England, Crossrail, HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, Transport for London and the Department for Transport (DfT).
Andrew Wolstenholme OBE, chief executive of Crossrail, has been appointed to chair a Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Taskforce, which will support these bodies in implementing their responses to the strategy.
Mr Grayling said: ‘We’re undertaking the most ambitious improvements in our transport network this country has seen for decades. But we must also drive forward plans to ensure these infrastructure projects are completed on time and on budget.
'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, boosting jobs and growth and creating new opportunities across the nation. 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.’
The seven challenges set out in the strategy are:
- Judge strategic choice and trade-offs — based on whole-life costs and wider benefits
- Improve the way we set up our projects — to maximise value and prevent inefficiency throughout delivery
- Create a transport infrastructure performance benchmarking forum — to share best practice and innovation
- Establish a common approach — to estimating to improve cost confidence and assurance.
- Promote long-term, collaborative relationships — with industry to reduce transaction costs in procurement and maximise innovation
- Challenge standards — to enable innovation and drive efficiencies
- Exploit digital technologies and standardise our assets — to enable the adoption of best practice from the manufacturing sector, such as off-site construction.
The DfT said these challenges complement existing efficiency plans within each transport body and support wider government initiatives, such as the Industrial Strategy, the construction sector deal, and the Transforming Infrastructure Programme, which was also published this week.