The EEF, the representative body for the UK manufacturing sector, have called for the creation of a permanent UK Infrastructure Authority to address the nation’s long term strategic infrastructure requirements, bring coherence to debates on infrastructure challenges and encourage vitally needed investment to support growth and competitiveness.
The call by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation in a new paper aims to “end decades of political wrangling and poor planning”. The EEF say it comes amid the “continued prevarication over expanding vitally needed airport capacity”. The EEF say the fourth most critical factor for manufacturers in deciding where to invest, behind, proximity to customers, labour costs and availability of skills.
Commenting, EEF Business Environment Policy Adviser, Chris Richards, said: “Political prevarication and policy reversals have left Britain in the slow lane in developing its infrastructure for decades. The neglect of our roads, the indecision on expanding airport capacity and, the agonising over high speed rail routes connecting our major cities have only served to exacerbate the feeling that Britain’s infrastructure is not geared up to support growth.”
“In a nutshell, a UK Infrastructure Authority would add value by horizon scanning for future challenges, and ensuring debates are backed by trusted analysis.”
A spokesperson for Heathrow commented: “This report is yet more evidence of the critical role infrastructure plays in the economic health of the UK. For 350 years Britain has been home to the world’s largest port or airport, with Heathrow providing the long-haul connectivity that has supported our trading position for decades. Today, that competitive advantage is gradually being eroded as our competitors invest in their hub airports whilst we lose out in the race for connectivity to our rivals in Europe and Dubai.”