New authority to tackle infrastructure investment needed

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MANUFACTURERS have called for an infrastructure authority to be set up to encourage “vitally needed” investment in roads and energy.

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said the move was needed to end decades of “political wrangling and poor planning”.

The business group said there were continued concerns over the UK’s “neglected” road and energy infrastructure, as well as “prevarication” over expanding airport capacity.

Andy Tuscher, Yorkshire and Humberside region director at EEF, said: “Political prevarication and policy reversals have left Britain in the slow lane in developing its infrastructure for decades. The neglect of our roads, the indecision on expanding airport capacity and, the agonising over high speed rail routes connecting our major cities have only served to exacerbate the feeling that Britain’s infrastructure is not geared up to support growth.

“We now have the opportunity to put in place a new independent system that will aid long-term planning supporting more of a consensus based approach in identifying future needs. All political parties need to commit to this in their forthcoming manifestos.

“A UK infrastructure authority would add value by horizon scanning for future challenges, and ensuring debates are backed by trusted analysis.”

According to EEF, the UK lacks the institutional framework to identify, plan and deliver major projects, getting them from conception to completion in a streamlined way.