Arcadis findings shows delays to planned infrastructure spend already cost the economy £6bn GDP in 2015/16

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Tens of thousands of pounds are being lost every minute from the UK economy over cancelled and delayed infrastructure projects, according to new research from Arcadis.

The consultant in its latest report, Spiralling Cost of Indecision, shows that even a one month average delay in the transport infrastructure pipeline will see the UK economy miss out on £2bn of investment-related GDP over the next five years. This is equivalent to £48,425 for every minute of delay, it said.

The report also estimates that the cost of delivering all the transport projects in the pipeline could rise by £241m on the back of a one month delay. This is equivalent to £8m a day of the delay.

Rail is identified by the report as the “greatest cause of stalled or cancelled transport infrastructure spend” and a one month delay on all rail projects could see costs rise by £4.2m for every day of slippage.

Delays in overall planned infrastructure spend led to a £6bn loss to GDP in 2015/16 and according to the National Audit Office over a third of major government projects due to be delivered in the next five years are in doubt, the report adds.

Over the next five years, the cumulative impact of stalling on those projects identified in the 2015-16 pipelines could see the UK economy miss out on up to £35 billion of investment-related GDP.

Chris Pike, infrastructure client development director at Arcadis, said: “Clearly, there are a number of reasons for projects not going ahead on schedule but, all too often, stalling could potentially be avoided or, if the impacts were clearly understood, decisions may be taken differently.

“It is clear that government needs to send a clear message to the world that Britain is open for business by progressing vital infrastructure projects at the earliest opportunity, without compromising safety or security. Equally, infrastructure owners and industry need to work together to deliver on these commitments, allowing post-Brexit Britain to reap the full benefit, along with the inevitable bounce effect that will result.”


How the delays tot up


Missed investment-related GDP from delays and cancellations in transport infrastructure spending (over 5 years)
 Average delay of one month on current plansDaily equivalent
Local auth majors£259m£8.6m


Additional costs from transport infrastructure spending delays and cancellations 2016-2020
 Average delay of one month on current plansDaily equivalent
Local auth majors£32m£1m


*Excludes decision on additional capacity in South East as no project has yet been listed in the National Infrastructure Pipeline

Source: Arcadis