What’s new in the Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030?

The refreshed report outlines a new approach to how government and industry in the UK will intervene in the built environment. This blog looks at the main aspects of this update to TIP.

  • Updated: 13 September, 2021
  • Author: Steve Lee, ICE Policy Fellow for Improving UK Infrastructure Delivery

“The people who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do.” That was a quote from the late Steve Jobs. Our lives are constantly affected by change, and the construction industry is no different.

In 2017, the UK’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority published Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP) at the ICE. The overall vision was a change programme to improve the productivity and delivery of infrastructure.

The latest iteration of the TIP, Roadmap to 2030, continues on that theme and looks at how the government, working with industry, will improve infrastructure performance and boost productivity in both delivery and operation.

It is an ambitious plan to transform how infrastructure interventions are done over the long-term, embedded across the asset lifecycle to deliver outcomes for society such as net-zero and ‘levelling-up’. It also looks at how to use the government’s influence to drive modern methods of construction so Britain can lead the world in high-tech construction. But will it change our world?

Why is it important to be better?

The theme of change and improvement in construction goes back decades. Looking back at some of the key reports that have influenced the industry during my career, there’s been the Sir Michael Latham report ‘Constructing the Team’ back in 1994, Sir John Egan’s report ‘Rethinking Construction’ in 1998 and Mark Farmer’s ‘Modernise or Die’ in 2016.

In 2019, the government invested over £110bn in construction, that’s 7% of GDP. Today’s linked publication of the 2021 Construction and Infrastructure Pipeline shows that a significant level of investment will continue, with over £600bn forecast over the next decade.

As the construction and infrastructure sectors' major client, stakeholder and funder, it’s imperative that infrastructure professionals demonstrate to the government that we can spend public money efficiently. Regular spending reviews and the need to restore the public finances balance sheet mean that construction is always in the spotlight.

If we are to do more and spend more, we need to improve more. That’s the trade-off.

TIP 2030: what’s interesting and what happens next?

We do now have a wider plan that can collectively help. TIP’s Roadmap to 2030 describes a vision for the future in which we collectively prioritise the societal outcomes we need and use modern digital approaches and technologies alongside improved delivery models to achieve them.

The core components of the refreshed TIP are:

  • A Built Environment Model that draws a direct line between the outcomes we need as a society - by the UN Sustainable Development Goals - and the decisions we make to build, maintain and renew our infrastructure
  • Focus Areas that demonstrate the ways in which we need to change the nature of our interventions in the built environment to achieve strategic outcomes. These are focusing on strategic outcomes, place-based decision making, using platform approaches to construction, retrofitting existing assets and optimising performance.
  • A single TIP Action Plan which describes who will do what and by when, covering data, business and delivery models, market capacity and productivity improvement, environment and sustainability and building expertise and capability.

There is a strong focus in the refresh of better use of data and insight to drive change as well as a recognition of other important factors such as business model change and improving industry capacity.

As ICE’s new policy fellow for Improving Infrastructure Delivery, I’m keen that ICE plays an active role in supporting the implementation of TIP, alongside the Construction Playbook. The UK construction industry is leading the way already in many areas of delivery. We need, though, to have the collective mindset to think differently, we need to be restless for change and improvement and we need to do it now.

  • In July, ICE held a roundtable with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and the CEO of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority on the TIP refresh. You can read a summary of the discussion here.
  • The chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure and the minister responsible for the original TIP shared his expectations for TIP, in advance of the refresh. You can read that here.
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