Transport Central

New transport projects have the potential to make a generational difference to the way we live in the UK and to our economy. Better transport infrastructure can help rebalance the economy and connect our cities and regions, improving the lives of all us. Transport Central is the hub where we will share our points of view on these and other issues facing the sector. It will be of most value if you come on this journey with us, so please do add your comments or get in touch.

Rebalancing the economy with better connectivity

How can we make the right transport infrastructure decisions to drive forward economic growth? Which projects should we build and how do we make sure they are delivered on time and on budget?

We believe there are five key elements to making the right transport investment decisions.

  1. Project Appraisal
  2. Benchmarking of projects
  3. Funding and Financing
  4. Efficient and effective delivery
  5. Governance and assurance 

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Total Appraisal: How to make decisions on major infrastructure

Investment in transport infrastructure is crucial in efforts to ensure that the economy is fit for the rest of the 21st century and beyond. The stakes are massive, so how can we identify, and develop the projects that will have the greatest impact on the economy and on our quality of life? Policymakers have traditionally focussed on the Value for Money of investments – measured by their Benefit to Cost Ratio. But politicians and the general public are often at least as interested in impacts on GDP and jobs. This kind of analysis requires courage to develop new approaches but it can be successfully done. Read more

Transport Central: Funding & financing

Transport is the key enabler of almost everything we do, that’s why there’s a focus on improving transport services and building new infrastructure in particular. But given this focus on big infrastructure how do we fund them and can we afford them? What are the funding and financing implications of decisions to invest in transport infrastructure? And how does this affect the private sector supply chain?

Grant Klein is joined by Cara Haffey and Charlie Johnson-Ferguson to explore these important issues.


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Transport Central: Benchmarking

Benchmarking can play a critical role in shaping our transport infrastructure. But it means different things to different people. It can increase the value and returns, but it is much more than just cost comparison.

In this video Richard Scott and Ben Sheppard discuss how benchmarking can bring challenge and insight to deliver better transport infrastructure projects.

Addressing challenges across the project lifecycle

Appraisal is critical in determining which schemes should be progressed, but it needs to be carried out at the right time, to a suitable level of detail and using the appropriate criteria. For example, should we quantify impact on GDP, on benefit cost ratio or both?

Every scheme is clearly different, but they are usually made up from elements that have been delivered elsewhere. Benchmarking at this level can provide an evidence-based challenge to cost and scope so that sponsor requirements can be assessed against affordability in order to maximise value for money. Benchmarking can also play a critical role in regulatory and competitive strategy, which in turn can unlock commercial success.

The first check in managing a portfolio of capital projects is to ensure that the portfolio is fundable. Within this are questions around attracting capital investment and potentially unlocking private finance. Once this is clear, the next challenge is to set up individual projects for commercial success.

Organisations need to adapt to respond to changing market conditions. But how do you change an operating model to maximise delivery effectiveness? It starts with getting clarity on the purpose, and then follows a series of logical steps making decisions such as ‘make versus buy’ and how to get economies of scale from common capabilities.

How do we get different stakeholders to work together, particularly when some of their objectives will be in conflict? Getting appropriate, proportionate governance in place, supported by robust assurance procedures, helps to make sure the right people do the right things at the right time.


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Contact us

Jamie Houghton

Public Sector Transport Leader , PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7718 778 662

Grant Klein

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)77 3014 6631

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