Its report attempts to counter criticism that its infrastructure investment plans are moving too slowly to impact on the sliding economy.
The move came as the industry branded plans to raise infrastructure spending by £3bn from 2015/16 as too little, too late. But the Help to Buy package was welcomed as a significant boost to the house building industry.
Progress on Top 40 infrastructure projects
Highways Agency programme in construction – pre-2010 Spending Review
• Seven of the eight schemes, which were in construction at Spending Review were complete as of March 2012.
• The eighth (M1 J10 – 13) remains on track to be completed in spring 2013.
Highways Agency managed motorways programme – Spending Review projects
• Variable mandatory speed limits on the M62 J25-30 will be switched on from April 2013. Works have been successfully completed to install 36 new gantries and refurbish 16 existing gantries.
• The M4 J19-20/M5 J15-17 – the new Pegwell Brake footbridge, which spans the M5 between Junction 16 and 17 was completed in February 2013 and is now open to the public.
• Construction continues on the M6 J5-J8. Narrow lane running between Junction 5 and Junction 6 was successfully installed during January 2013 and this has provided the necessary safety zones and working room to allow the construction works to install the new verge infrastructure. Installation of the new overhead gantries has commenced with seven installed by the first week in March 2013.
• Advance works commenced on the M25 J5-7 managed motorway in spring 2013. Work to replace the existing central reservation barrier with a new concrete central reservation barrier between Junction 5 (Sevenoaks) and Junction 6 (Godstone) are underway.
Highways Agency trunk road improvements programme – 2010 Spending Review projects
• The A23 Handcross to Warninglid trunk road improvement scheme has completed the first phase of southbound carriageway temporary widening and work on a roundabout has commenced construction since Autumn Statement 2012.
• Construction has started on the A11 Fiveways to Thetford where main works commenced in January 2013.
Highways Agency – Autumn Statement 2011/2012 package
• Work on the A453 widening scheme commenced on 7 January 2013.
• Advanced work on the A14 Kettering Bypass widening scheme began in March 2013.
• Construction started on the M25 J23-27 managed motorway scheme in February 2013.
Alternative approaches to resolving issues along the A14 corridor
• Financing options (including local contribution) presently being developed.
• Design and impact assessments currently being developed.
New Lower Thames crossing
• The Department for Transport is undertaking a review of potential locations for the new crossing.
• The review documentation will be compiled for public consultation and is scheduled to be launched in May 2013.
• Construction start due in 2013-14.
Mersey Gateway Bridge
• Halton Borough Council has announced the call for final bids, with the preferred bidder to be announced in June.
• Final Approval remains on track for autumn 2013.
Local transport projects – funded at or before Spending Review 2010
A130/A13 Sadlers Farm Junction has now been completed, bringing the total completed schemes to 19, with eight still under construction.
Local authority major transport schemes – development pool projects
• A further seven schemes have entered construction since Autumn Statement 2012, bringing the total under construction to 20.
• Heysham-M6 Link Road received approval in March to begin later this year.
• More schemes to be announced in the next few months.
• The scheme is now moving into peak tunnelling period with five tunnel boring machines (TBMs) operational from sites at Royal Oak, Limmo and Plumstead. Together the five TBMs have completed a further two miles of tunnelling since Autumn Statement, bringing the total to more than three miles of tunnels.
• All central London section station contracts have been awarded and works are underway.
• Woolwich station box has been completed by Berkeley Homes ready to be handed over to Crossrail Limited.
• The Rolling Stock and Depot contract has moved to a fully publicly funded procurement.
• Network Rail has commenced work across the surface section of Crossrail including the demolition of various bridges on the Great Western route, construction of the Stockley viaduct and work at Acton.
• Secretary of State for the Department of Transport announced in January 2013 that the Department has worked closely with Network Rail to make sure the Wimbledon Loop route continues to operate as part of Thameslink’s core services.
• Main works at London Bridge station due to begin in May 2013.
Rail infrastructure and rolling stock enhancement
• Network Rail delivering network investment and enhancements programme during Control Period 4 (2009-14).
• Network Rail will begin delivery of Control Period 5 investments in April 2014.
East Coast Main Line
• Physical works continue on new platforms, track work, signalling and associated infrastructure for Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace. Practical completion is due in January 2014.
• Hitchin flyover – crossings and signalling installed, rails now laid on the whole line and OLE fitted during March 2013. Practical completion is due in June 2013.
• North Doncaster Chord – work on site has now started. Practical completion is due in March 2014.0
Rail electrification programme(including Great Western Electrification)
• The Department for Transport announced plans worth £704 million to electrify the Great Western Main Line (GWML) between Cardiff, Bristol and Didcot in March 2013. This will give Wales its very first main line electrified railway, cutting 17 minutes from Cardiff to London journeys and 22 minutes from Bristol to London journeys.
• In January 2013 Network Rail announced the electrification of London to Swansea trains, including: electrification from the Severn Tunnel to Swansea by December 2018, the start of electrification work on the Cardiff and valleys network – scheduled for completion in early part of 2019 to 2024 period and new platforms at Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Caerphilly, Barry, Tirphil and Pontypridd.
Kings Cross Station improvements
• Good progress has been made on physical works for the Southern Square project. The old concourse canopies have been removed and work is starting on rebuilding the slab above the London Underground station and alterations to LUL structures.
• Temporary passenger access arrangements are working well.
• Practical completion is due in October 2013.Reading upgrade programme • Easter 2013 blockade is on schedule.
• New depot due to open summer 2013.
• On schedule to complete by 2015, one year ahead of schedule.
High Speed Two
• Work is continuing to carry out environmental impact surveys along the line of the route.
• The announcement on Phase 2 (north of Birmingham) initial preferred route and station options was made in January 2013, in preparation for formal consultation later in the year.
• Consultation on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment is due to launch in spring 2013.
• Phase 2 consultation has been brought forward ahead of schedule and is due to be launched in summer 2013.
• Deposit of a Paving Bill in Parliament to fasttrack the £32 billion project. 1
Northern rail connectivity (Liverpool-Newcastle including Northern Hub)
• Construction work progresses in readiness for start of Manchester to Scotland electric services in December 2013.
• Bridge and design works continue on other elements of the investment package –including Ordsall Chord and other phases of North West electrification.
• Ordsall Chord on schedule for completion by end 2016.
Intercity Express Programme
• In Quarter 1 2013, the first phase of construction work started at North Pole depot in West London, which is set to service the new fleet of IEP trains for the
Great Western Main Line.
• Hitachi has begun preparing the site for its European train manufacturing and assembly centre at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, which will create 730 permanent jobs at the plant. Building work is scheduled to begin in Quarter 4 2013 and the plant will be fully operational by 2015.
• In Quarter 1 2013 Network Rail handed Hitachi possession of the Stoke Gifford depot site, near Bristol.
London Underground investment programme
• The Victoria line upgrade was completed in January 2013 – with a further increase in the number of trains during peak time (up from 30 to 33 train per hour; an additional 10 per cent increase in capacity on top of the 11 per cent introduced in April 2012) – delivering a 21 per cent increase in capacity overall with 10,000 more passengers an hour.
• Northern line Upgrade: New signalling went live on first section of line (West Finchley to High Barnet) in February 2013.
• Contactless Card Payment was introduced on London buses December 2012.
Northern Line Extension to Battersea
• The Chancellor announced at Autumn Statement 2012 that the Government would issue a UK Guarantee to support borrowing by the GLA for this project.
• Transport for London expect to submit an application for powers under the Transport and Works Act in April 2013, and good progress is being made on finalising a binding development agreement with the Battersea Power Station site developers, following the heads of terms agreed in December last year.
Gatwick capital investment programme
• Already two thirds of the way through the £1.26 billion capital investment programme, which will be complete by March 2014. Still over 200 projects either in progress or planned, and the old Pier 1 will be knocked down in the next few months. A further £1 billion of investment post 2014.
Heathrow capital investment programme
• At the start of 2013 Terminal 2A was declared weather tight, with systems installation due to begin later in spring 2013. When completed, the entire project will have a capacity of 30 million passengers a year and will cost £1–1.5bn.
Ports – container terminal projects
• First quayside container cranes and port equipment delivered to the London Gateway site in March 2013.
• The final marine consent for Southampton dredging has been given and the project is now underway.
• Costing £300 million and promising 5,000 new jobs, a brand new in-river container port known as Liverpool 2 to be built by 2015. The facility will add half a million containers (TEUs) annually to the Port of Liverpool, taking its capacity toward two million TEUs.
Ports – renewable energy projects
• Planning application approved for proposed manufacturing projects at port sites for Siemens (Hull).
• Planning application for new port development at Able under final consideration by the Department for Transport.
• £150 million biomass development at the Port of Liverpool for a biomass import, storage and out-loading to rail facility.3
Growing Places Fund
• As of February 2013, Local Enterprise Partnerships reported allocating £560 million (83 per cent) of capital GPF to projects including 31 LEPs who have allocated over 70 per cent. Detailed data collected in December 2012 shows that £382 million of the capital allocation is supporting 206 projects, leveraging £1.7 billion of other public and private investment.
• 14 LEPs have allocated all of their GPF. Only eight LEPs have allocated less than 70 per cent but all have action in hand to increase allocations quickly and are seeking bids for new projects.
Regional Growth Fund
• The current round 40 closed on 20 March 2013.
Electricity generation – new nuclear investment
• The Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change received recommendation from the Planning Inspectorate on EDF’s application for development consent for the Hinkley Point C new nuclear power station in December 2012. A final decision to approve planning permission was made in March 2013.
Carbon Capture and Storage investment
• The Department of Energy and Climate Change announced on 20 March 2013 that it would take forward two Preferred Bidders to a detailed planning and design stage. This represents the next step in the £1bn Carbon Capture and
Electricity generation – gas investment
• Two CCGT S36 applications (2.15 GW) are currently under consideration.
• The Gas Generation Strategy was published in December 2012.
Electricity generation – biomass investment
• Drax Power have been offered a Guarantee worth up to £75 million to help raise finance for the partial conversion of their power station from coal to biomass.
• Plans for a new coal to biomass conversion at Ironbridge from 2013. Support has also been secured from the Green Investment Bank for coal to biomass conversion plans at the UK’s largest coal power station in Selby.
• Development consent approved in 2012 for Royal Portbury Dock (150 MW).
• DECC will expand biomass deployment through the non-domestic renewable heat incentive: (including specific tariffs for biomass and bioliquid CHP).
• Implementation of the Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan will reduce barriers to deployment.
• The Government plans to announce its decisions on revised sustainability criteria under the Renewables Obligation in spring 2013. These will provide the greater certainty needed to secure investment in new generation and drive further emissions reduction through the supply-chain.
• One proposal (100 MW) is currently being processed under the Planning Act 2008 regime – with a decision anticipated in late summer 2013.
Electricity generation – wind energy investment
• East Heckington ( 66MW)was given planning permission in February 2013. Development consent approved for onshore wind proposals at Pen y Cymoedd (299 MW – gained in Mayy 2012), and offshore wind proposals at approved in July 2012 for Race Bank (580MW) and Dudgeon East (560 MW).
• One Planning Act application (Kentish Flats extension (51MW) has recently been awarded development consent, with a further three applications due for ministerial determination during 2013 (1.8 GW).
• National Air Traffic Services (NATS) is working with The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) and the wind industry to upgrade NATS’ Raytheon radars to mitigate interference from wind turbines.
• Progress has been made by the Ministry of Defence on the Air Traffic Control Radar mitigation project against interference caused by Wind Farms. 5
Electricity and gas transmission and distribution investment
• Electricity Transmission and Gas Transmission and Distribution Price controls, worth up to £37 billion for the period 2013-21, come into effect on 1 April 2013.
• Ofgem published its strategy for the next electricity distribution price control (covering the period 2015-23) on 4 March 2013.
• Obligations have now been placed on energy suppliers to complete the GB-wide rollout of smart meters by 2019.
• Data and Communications Company licence awards and service provider contracts awards are due to be made by mid-2013.
• Expected to have a £6.7 billion NPV benefit to UK (out to 2030).
4G mobile auction and rollout
• 4G spectrum auction resulted in licences awarded to five companies on 1 March 2013.
• Services using this spectrum expected to be launched from early summer 2013. Rural mobile coverage (Mobile Infrastructure Project)
• Intend to appoint contractor in early May and have first sites operational in 2013.
• Rolling out rapidly thereafter, with aim of completion by 2015.
Fixed broadband investment –private and public
• Commercial roll-out of superfast broadband covering approximately 100,000 additional premises per week.
• Approximately 15 local broadband projects representing more than 50 per cent of the total programme budget are now under way.
• All project contracts are expected to be in place by end summer 2013.
Urban broadband fund – Super connected cities
• Following on from the announcement that ten cities had been selected as part of Wave 1 at the March 2012 budget, a further twelve cities were announced as part of Wave 2 of the programme at the Autumn Statement on 5 December 2012.
• The £150 million programme is scheduled to deliver ultrafast broadband coverage to households and businesses in high growth areas as well as high-speed wireless broadband by 2015.
• A number of cities are proceeding with procurement whilst Leeds-Bradford has already completed a related wireless service.
Thames Tideway Tunnel
• A Consultation Direction was issued for tunnel routes in December 2012
• Thames Water submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the PlanningInspectorate in February 2013. This DCO is to be determined by DCLG and DEFRA Secretaries of State in summer 2014.
• Specified Infrastructure Project Regulations will be laid in Parliament in spring 2013.
• The procurement process is expected to start in spring 2013 with final contracts awarded in December 2014.
Flood and coastal erosion risk management programme
• In addition to the ongoing programme announced in previous years, 93 new flood management schemes will be moving into construction during 2013-14. When completed, these projects will provide better protection for over 64,000 homes.
• Schemes starting in this year’s programme include Leeds, Sheffield, Ipswich, Exeter andDerby, which will receive a share of the funding announced in the Autumn Statement to create jobs and unlock economic growth.
• In the last financial year the Environment Agency reported more than £14 million of efficiency saving from its capital procurement programme, which it is reinvesting in projects to protect more people and property. Now expected to better protect 165,000 households by 2015, exceeding the current goal by 20,000. The Environment Agency is on course to meet its 15 per cent efficiency target.