ICE State of the Nation 2018 – AECOM Response

David Barwell, Chief Executive UK & Ireland, AECOM, said:

“We welcome the recommendations made in the ICE State of the Nation report and strongly agree with its position on backing better models for funding of infrastructure where it makes sense to do so for the benefit of the user.

“As an investor and partner on the Heathrow Southern Railway proposal, we’re extremely pleased to see the recommendation for the Government to reform the way it deals with Market-led proposals. In order for the Government to demonstrate it truly understands and values the importance of such proposals, it must improve the framework, making it easier for the private sector to deliver public infrastructure – with intellectual property protected and a clearly defined path for delivery.

“Despite the complications of doing so, we agree with the ICE that the feasibility of a dedicated UKI infrastructure finance institution needs to be explored. The EU’s European Investment Bank has worked for decades to bring private capital into infrastructure projects – but the UK’s membership of the bank could end post-Brexit. The need for new ways to mobilise private capital is even more pressing as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

“One omission from the report is the topic of procurement; where the ICE might have used this as an opportunity to send a strong signal to Government that routes to market must be made more efficient. Our current procurement system often stifles new technology and keeps disruptors out of the market; a more streamlined approach could not only improve innovation but also allow financial savings to be invested back into the economy via enhanced scheme scope or simply as a cash return.”