While George Osborne’s latest budget has received mixed reviews to say the least, it did contain some good news for civil engineering consultants, especially in the north. Not only has money been ring-fenced for continuing work on the Crossrail 2, but also for another high speed train between Manchester and Leeds, as well as upgrades to major roads such as the M62.
However, an even greater story was the reactions to this winter’s floods in Lancashire, with the government pledging £700 million to flood defences by 2021 to ensure homes and businesses are better protected against flood risks.
Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), commented on the news, saying that while he was pleased to see the government is putting plans into place for the infrastructure needed for the latter half of this decade, CECA “would like to see more details on the proposed timetables of new work, and to ensure schemes announced in this budget – as well as those yet to be brought forward from previous budgets – are delivered without delay”.
Likewise, engineering consultancy companies are queueing up to be considered as part of the delivery team on the HS2 project. The government have worked with CECA up until now to ensure that businesses of all levels are considered as part of the development of the scheme according to Place Northwest. However, with the extra money now ensured for the project, large and small/medium enterprises alike will be watching the government’s procurement strategy with interest.