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Policy announcements in recent weeks show transport and infrastructure are at the heart of the Government's priorities. This puts the sector in a great position to work with Ministers to deliver their strategic aims and shape the future.

 

The policies are:

  • Transforming Infrastructure Performance plan
  • National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline
  • Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy
  • The Strategic Vision for Rail
  • The Industrial Strategy

More information on the content of the announcements can be found further below. But first, here is our analysis of what these policy announcements mean for transport and infrastructure businesses.

What these policy announcements mean for transport and infrastructure businesses

Transport and infrastructure feature heavily in recent Government announcements. This shows these are priority areas for Government and that it 'gets' the value of these industries for driving productivity and growth and linking people to jobs, homes and opportunities. 

Transport and infrastructure businesses now need to work with Government to ensure the Industrial Strategy becomes reality. Now is the time to have conversations with Government (and the Opposition) to build an advocacy base for proposals that work. 

The Office for Budget Responsibility recently downgraded the UK's productivity forecast. Brexit is set to decrease productivity even further. This means close collaboration between Government, industry and other stakeholders are crucial to making sure the Industrial Strategy delivers what it promises.

The publication of the pipeline of infrastructure projects helps. This will give transport and infrastructure businesses certainty about how and where to invest.

The Industrial Strategy's focus on mobility as a service and "blurring the boundaries between public and private transport" offers real opportunities for companies to innovate in this area. Now is the time to develop innovative partnerships and for disruptors to build alliances with Government and the Opposition.

The Industrial Strategy also focues on devolution and a different way of measuring infrastructure investment to enable local economies to deliver schemes that work for them. This offers massive opportunities to boost regional productivity through innovative partnerships between business, local government and Metro Mayors. Case-making for the schemes that are needed will be crucial.

Similarly, the Rail Strategy's focus on devolving power to local routes and introducing smaller franchises, indicates opportunities for communities and regions to make the case for the services they need. Again, a great opportunity for business, industry and local, regional and national Government to work together. 

The publication of a dedicated plan for boosting efficiency and productivity in the transport sector  shows the Government is serious about improving the performance of transport infrastructure and delivering for the customer. Transport infrastructure investment is clearly at the heart of the Government's priorities. This is in stark contrast to underinvestment in the past.

The Rail Strategy's vision is mostly about delivering better customer service. This offers excellent opportunities for the industry to work with its customers and stakeholders to achieve the strategy's aims. Effective stakeholder engagement will be crucial in enabling organisations to hear their customer's voices.

Transport and housing key to productivity and growth

The Strategic Vision for Rail is part-aligned with the Industrial Strategy and part-aligned with the Government's housing strategy, which was also recently announced. The move to re-open lines closed under Beeching is partly designed to unlock housing development in these areas. Rail investment over the next 10-20 years was identified as important in the Industrial Strategy. This shows the value Government places on the link between transport and housing to drive productivity and growth.

Where next?

Transport and infrastructure are clearly at the heart of Government's priorities. Comapnies should be asking themselves how they can better communicate with their customers, engage their stakeholders and use their positions of influence to further inform policy.

If you'd like advice on engaging your customers and stakeholders to build advocacy about what your company does, and to inform and influence policy, JFG Comms can help. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for advice on connecting people and policymakers to ensure your business’s performance thrives.

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More information on the content of the announcements

Transforming Infrastructure Performance plan

The Department for Transport's Transforming Infrastructure Performance plan sets out plans to revolutionise British infrastructure. The Government plans to improve delivery and performance of infrastrucutre, ensuring projects are delivered swiftly and efficiently. This will boost the construction sector's productivity and could deliver savings of £15bn a year.

Infrastructure investment pipeline

The Transforming Infrastructure Performance plan was published alongside the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, which sets out a £600bn pipeline of infrastructure projects for the next 10 years. The pipeline includes both public and private investment and provides industry with the detail needed following the publication of the Industrial Strategy. Government says this will give certainty to industry about the pipeline of projects and encourage the sector to invest in the right technology and skills to meet demand.

Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy

The Government also published a dedicated plan for boosting efficiency and productivity in the transport sector. The Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (TIES) describes seven challenges the Department for Transport and its delivery bodies (Crossrail, Highways England, HS2, Network Rail, and TfL) will address to improve transport infrastructure efficiency and deliver better outcomes for customers.

The seven challenges complement existing efficiency plans within each transport body. They also support wider Government initiatives, such as the industrial strategy, the construction sector deal, and the Infrastructure Project’s Authority’s transforming infrastructure programme. 

Industrial Strategy

The Industrial Strategy outlined four 'sector deals', including for construction and automotive. These are strategic, long-term partnerships between Government and the private sector. This shows the value of these industries for driving productivity and offers fantastic opportunities for transport and infrastructure businesses to work with Government to address the productivity challenge.

The sector deals align to four 'grand challenges' identified in the Industrial Strategy. The grand challenges are global trends that will shape our rapidly changing future. The four challenges are: artificial intelligence; clean growth; ageing society; and the future of mobility. The strategy outlines how the UK must embrace these challenges to make the most of the opportunities they bring. Each grand challenge will involve business, academia and civil society working with Government.

Strategic Vision for Rail

The Strategic Vision for Rail sets out Government's plans to bring train and track closer together. It will see Network Rail working more closely with the train operating companies. It will create some smaller, local franchises that will be better able to respond to local need. According to Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, the new way of working will have "a relentless focus on the passengers, economies and communities they serve." The strategy is the Government's response to Labour's manifesto plans to re-nationalise the railway.