What next for Britain Remade's infrastructure cost research
Very interesting, and important. In my field, prisons, in the 1990s we halved both construction time & cost by moving from trad public procurement to PFI. Might be some learning there.
Nimbyism is only part of the problem as nowadayss this is not just locals directly affected but also anti development pressure groups who have become masters at using the mechanism of Judicial review to delay and restrict development. This could probably be curtailed by making an Act of Parliament the final word , the project having been closely examined by a committee of MPs and Peers.
The other problem is the method of Government procurement which encourages the ripping off of the taxpayer.
Instead we should learn from our Victorian ancestors and apply the same methods as used for example in the North Sea to enable the Private Sector to take on the full risk. This means using the tax system to make it worthwhile for private companies to build and operate large infrastructure projects such as HS2 or Sizewell etc etcf. The other thing to learn from the Victorians is that they split railway projects into small chunks so for example with HS2 would have not taken the London to Birmingham as one section but broken it up into a number of phases making each rather more manageable and quantifiable.
Given all of the recent infrastructure disasters have taken place under conservative governments (especially HS2 which was almost entirely conceived, planned and delivered by Tory administrations) perhaps a post examining what it is about Tory politics or their coalition that has caused these problems would be helpful?
NIMBYs have been blocking planning stuff they don’t like for centuries.
The fact that the London-Birmingham line doesn't go via Aylesbury or via Oxford and Abingdon is down to NIMBYs. The fact that the Great Western mainline and the Cherwell Valley lines don’t stop in Abingdon is down to NIMBYs.
And as Alon Levy says British costs were OK in the 1960s.
Excellent material for students wondering why everyone complains about our public infrastructure - the meat on the bones, so thanks!