Senior industry figures will drive plan to save £3bn a year on infrastructure costs

A Treasury plan to save up to £3bn a year on infrastructure construction costs is to be driven by senior industry figures.

The Infrastucture Cost Review Implementation Plan, published last Thursday, outlines a programme of activity to secure savings first identified in the Infrastructure Cost Report in December 2010. It includes plans for three steering groups:

  • Simon Kirby of Network Rail will head up an infrastructure client and procurement group
  • Stephen Fox of Bam Nuttall will lead the infrastructure industry group
  • Brian Collins, adviser to the departments of transport and business, will run the infrastructure data group.

Alasdair Reisner, head of public affairs at CECA, said: “You’ve got to have big personalities as part of this process. Including respected people from across the industry can only help to get this plan implemented.”

Other elements of the plan are:

  • A charter between construction and government that sets out “behaviours expected in future relationships”
  • A data group made up of the public sector and industry practitioners to extend the use of cost benchmarking in infrastructure delivery
  • A “joint programme management board” to be chaired by Paul Morrell, the government’s chief construction adviser, to ensure the plan is implemented across the wider public sector.

Alexander Jan, Arup associate director, said: “The concept of certainty is helpful and benefits both the industry and funders.”

The measures are focused on economic infrastructure, particularly civil engineering, waste, water, transport and energy.