Could the key element of Autostrade per L'Italia's success be that its not like the Highway Agency at all. Its privately owned by the Benneton Family and raised most money from private tolls. As such, it can be more strategically focused on what adds long term value than the Highway Agency. All the evidence from that decade has shown that longer and larger "collaborative frameworks" restrict competition. It directly results in costs going up and the value goes down for clients. You don't bulk buy engineering services like they are a manufactured product. Each is unique. If you want innovative businesses to support the next generation, you need to break up the "framework cartels" and tender projects openly and fairly such that small businesses can compete and win work with their lower overheads and greater innovation.
Could the key element of Autostrade per L'Italia's success be that its not like the Highway Agency at all. Its privately owned by the Benneton Family and raised most money from private tolls. As such, it can be more strategically focused on what adds long term value than the Highway Agency. That said, I know a simple short tunnel in Claviere (Italy) which has been under construction since it missed the completion date of the Turin winter Olympics in 2006. So perhaps the Italians have some of the same problems also.
The FloodRe system is flawed. Why should the public pay for the personal choice of individuals who choose to buy a house in a flood risk area? How is that fair? Flood risk screening should become essentially mandatory similar to other surveyor checks. If you wish to sell a house and are in a high flood risk zone you should need to provide a Flood Risk Assessment. Anyone who is already in a high flood risk zone then has a choice. To defend their own house, or work with others in the local community to lower the flood risk. Forget the EA. Nothing will happen. If a small fraction of the money spent on flood risk claims and policies were spent on paying for professional flood risk assessments and flood mitigation works, there would be a real change, not just passing the buck. I run a small civil engineering consultants - www.wilsham.co.uk and such additional work would provide a real boost to SMEs in the local community and generate more engineering jobs.
Or BIM should be limited to complex buildings only where some meaningful benefit is obtained to the client. BIM should not be applied to non building projects or anything outside a building. Close mm coordination is not relevant. Its use will distract from genuine civil engineering design and into endless waffle about processes and workflows. I run a small civil engineering design consultancy - www.wilsham.co.uk and cannot afford expensive BIM packages. Surely the real agenda is selling yet more expensive software and hitting SMEs who do not have the large budgets for such software. In the end the tax payer will be hit by reduced competition.
It is good to see the Highway Agency accept the procurement mistakes of the past - using enormously inefficient massive frameworks and start talking about using SMEs. However what is it actually doing to break up the work and introduce genuine competition. I run a small civil engineering consultancy - http://www.wilsham.co.uk and would be keen to get involved but as it stands the doors are not open to small/micro businesses.