The Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) used his keynote speech at yesterday’s National Infrastructure Forum to urge the need to press on with major projects amid the recent political uncertainty.
Lord Andrew Adonis spoke in particular about the need for contractors to stay committed to the HS2, Crossrail and Heathrow runway developments.
It would be easy to scale back on commitments to these projects. Zac Goldsmith’s re-election as Richmond MP could be significant for Heathrow’s third runway project because he was vociferously against the development.
Meanwhile, we have the broader issue of political uncertainty in light of the general election which stripped the Conservative Party of a working majority and now, while an agreement still needs to be made with the DUP, it is feasible that contractors and investors could get cold feet.
A minority government and second election still cannot be ruled out, which add to the uncertainty.
However, Lord Adonis, who has been Chairman and an interim and permanent basis since October 2015, reminded people at the National Infrastructure Forum that, despite the political uncertainty following last week’s election result, a “broad political consensus” remains for these major infrastructure projects.
He said: “Amid all the political developments and differences, it is easy to lose sight of the broad political consensus already in place for some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects.
“HS2 and Crossrail continue at pace, and there is support within all the major parties for a third runway at Heathrow – all examples of why we should continue to have confidence in the industry.
“So I would urge anyone considering their next investments not to be distracted by headlines, but to continue their long term plans to deliver those infrastructure plans in the pipeline.”
This was one of a number of speeches at the National Infrastructure Forum which provided high level engagement for public and private sectors through networking opportunities, meetings, knowledge sharing and promotion of the right solutions and services from all industry leaders.
The speeches covered a number of sectors including construction, transport, energy & utilities, investment, infrastructure, and digital communications.