Unless vital infrastructure projects are delivered, the economy risks even deeper problems

Ed Miliband was widely praised for his speech at the Labour Party conference, but there was one line that stood out to me in as a huge source of concern.

Mr Miliband stated that no road infrastructure projects planned since the coalition announced investment last year have actually broken ground. Since then, confused requests for more toll roads by the Confederation of British Industry this month have done little to reassure the industry a coherent plan is in place.

There have been many lofty promises, but unless this vital infrastructure is delivered, the economy risks even deeper problems. Aside from the initial boost that commissioning these projects would give to our depressed construction sector, the legacy benefits of having the foresight to invest in roads now could be almost immeasurable.

The recent Growth and Infrastructure Bill announced by David Cameron is encouraging as it aims to remove the bureaucratic barriers that have held back construction for far too long. But it remains to be seen if this will actually deliver the confidence the prime minister claims it will to ensure businesses will invest in infrastructure projects.

We’ve had enough rhetoric and planned announcements from this government and the previous administration about what they will implement. Now it’s time to start putting those words into action.

Steven Barker, chairman, Robinson Low Francis