The best way to ensure sufficient capacity in the infrastructure supply chain is to give more certainty to its long-term plans and strategy.
That was the message from National Infrastructure Commission Chairman Sir John Armitt to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee on April 24.
Asked if there would be enough capacity to deliver HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, Armitt told MPs: “At the end of the day, quite how the sequencing will work out and how that relates to the capacity of the industry is uncertain. It will become more certain with time.
“HS2 itself has talked about a labour force required of 25,000 at peak. The Midlands Rail Hub is a £2 billion programme of upgrades to existing lines, whereas Northern Powerhouse Rail is a much bigger collection of different schemes, some of which are upgrades and some of which are new lines.
“Therefore, the capacity of the industry, to a certain extent, will be what it is at the time - depending on what else is going on in the wider infrastructure world.”
For the FULL story, read RAIL 904, published on May 6, and available digitally from May 2.