According to Highways England CEO Jim O’Sullivan, the workload for contractors working on road projects in the UK could double from current levels to more than $5 billion per year under the country’s next spending program.
Through early forecasting of supply chain capacity, O’Sullivan estimated that more than $5 billion of capital work could be carried out by contractors on the country’s strategic roads by the year 2020. This is up from around $3.7 billion of spending the Roads Investment Strategy (RIS) forecast for the final financial year.
However, O’Sullivan said that the prospect of such figure (and the investment plans that come with it) to become realistic will still depend on the government’s commitment to future spending.
Commenting on this scenario, he stated:
“It is not a massive step up. It definitely looks like something our supply chain can deliver, and talking to senior people within our supply chain they think this is reasonable.”
O’Sullivan’s comments came after the submission of a National Audit Office report into the RIS. Basically, the report cites projects that posed a risk to value for money, thus making them subject to review by the Department of Transport and Highways England. Depending on the review results, these projects could be changed, delayed, merged, and even canceled.
Up to now, Highways England has seen 10 projects brought forward by contractors from across the country. To outline its plans for these projects, the government-owned company will host an event with suppliers this month.