Britain's rubbish infrastructure cost the economy £6 billion last year

Delayed and cancelled infrastructure projects are costing the UK almost £70 million per day, and cut UK GDP by £6 billion in the past year, according to new research from design and consultancy firm Arcadis.

A new report from the firm, dramatically titled “The Spiralling Cost of Indecision” shows that for every minute a major transport infrastructure project is delayed, the potential cost is as high as £48,000, which over the course of a 24-hour period stacks up to more than £69 million.

Arcadis’ research found that during the last year, infrastructure spending delays and cancellations amounted to as much as £4.6 billion, and reduced Britain’s GDP by as much as £6 billion.

The most successful economies in the world have large-scale and efficient infrastructure. This requires continual investment from businesses and the government in order to remain competitive and to keep an economy running smoothly.

The more infrastructure projects are dented, the more it costs the economy, as the report notes (emphasis ours):

“The delays are caused by many reasons including planning, purchasing and the reprioritisation of programmes. However, regardless of the cause our analysis shows that the cumulative impact of these delays can still be significant. Had all the planned infrastructure spend for 2015/2016 taken place during that period, GDP would have been around £6 billion greater; an increase of 0.3 per cent.”

And here’s Arcadis’ chart breaking down how much delayed projects are costing each infrastructure sector across the economy:

Commenting on the findings, Arcadis’ Client Development Director Chris Pike said:

“Some of our most ambitious projects, from energy to state-of-the-art transportation, have huge potential to bolster the national economy. With delays being such a recurring issue when it comes to British infrastructure, we are potentially missing out on around £48,000 each and every minute. These are big numbers and we simply can’t afford to delay unnecessarily.

“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.”

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