A new CBI report, sponsored by Aggregate Industries, argues that the UK needs a gear change in investment, performance and efficiency if it is to develop a road network fit for the 21st century. With public finances constrained, the Government must show bold thinking in how to secure new sources of funding to help support economic growth in the long-term, say the CBI.
John Cridland, the CBI’s Director-General, calls for the introduction of a Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) model to secure the private investment necessary to overcome the current funding gaps in the UK’s road network.
A £10bn shortfall in funding for Highways Agency projects, together with greater fuel efficiency in new vehicles, make the current model unsustainable.
Similar models have successfully been applied in other sectors and could open up major private sector investment over the long-term – the water industry alone has generated £98bn of private investment since the1980s, with capped charges on customers.
Alain Bourguignon, CEO of Aggregate Industries, writes in the report's forward:
'By transferring the management and maintenance of essential road infrastructure to long-term investment vehicles, we could see far better planning, procurement and design of the assets, leading to far better outcomes for all stakeholders.'