The coalition government has appointed Terry Hill, the former chairman of Arup, to run an inquiry into how to reduce the costs of civil engineering projects in UK
The work on reducing civil engineering costs was begun under the Labour government, and this week’s Budget confirmed that it would be continued.
Hill (pictured) joined Arup in 1976 and led work on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the development plans for a London to Scotland high-speed rail link. He is presently Arup’s global market leader for transport and chaired the firm between 2004 and 2009.
The document describes the review as “an investigation into how to reduce the cost of delivery of civil engineering works for major infrastructure projects” but does not give further details.
The review was set up after engineers working on the scope for the High Speed Two rail link found that the equivalent costs in the UK were up to double those in continental Europe.
The Budget also confirmed for the first time that Infrastructure UK, the body set up last December to assess and prioritise spending on infrastructure for the next 40 years, is to survive the cull of quangos.
The body has been asked to work on a National Infrastructure Plan, to be published in time for the Comprehensive Spending Review on 20 October.
The government said the plan would “include priority public and private sector investments and proposals for delivering and supporting investment”.
Plans for a Green Investment Bank were reiterated, but funding is uncertain after Treasury officials were this week unable to confirm that the government still intended to fund it using receipts from the sale of assets such as High Speed One.
Paul Jowitt, president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said: “Confirmation that Infrastructure UK will remain in place is good news. Unlocking private investment will be crucial to delivering the infrastructure needed to plug potential energy shortfalls and retain the UK’s global competitiveness.”