Is There Life in London Beyond 2012?

Is there life in London beyond 2012 for the construction sector, is the question being asked by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) in a new research paper. Infrastructure investment in London looks set to peak in time for the Olympics, but the future beyond that looks less certain.

Major works in the capital post-2012 are likely to be dominated by the Tideway Tunnel, Crossrail and the M25 widening programme.

Nelson Ogunshakin, ACE chief executive, said: “We all know that things are going to be challenging over the coming years. Investment will have to be targeted on those projects that can deliver quickly to a high standard and provide good return on capital investment. That is why it is essential that clients make best use of their relationships with industry to identify where investment can be most effective.”

The report, London’s Major Infrastructure Projects, looks at planned and proposed developments in the sphere of transport and utilities. Beyond the 2012 Olympics, engineers are looking to proposed major projects such as High Speed 2 and the third runway at Heathrow, but restricted investment and a potential for a change of government mean there are no guarantees.

Nelson Ogunshakin added: “ACE believe that close collaboration will help industry to know the likely pattern of investment in the future, so that they can plan their businesses accordingly. We would also like to see the Mayor continue to fight the corner for infrastructure developments in London.”

London’s infrastructure has already felt the impact of the recession, with projects such as London Underground access upgrades and the proposed Thames Gateway Bridge being delayed or postponed. However, the demands on London’s infrastructure are likely to continue to grow.

The report recommends that clients work closely with industry to identify best value investment routes. Other recommendations include the establishment of an infrastructure underwriting scheme similar to the Treasury PFI unit to encourage private investment in key infrastructure projects.

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