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Engineering tsar is 'a must' for the UK

CIVIL engineers are cranking up the pressure on the Government to appoint an independent Chief Engineering Adviser to oversee development of the UK's infrastructure.

Results of a Institution of Civil Engineers survey, due to be officially released later this month, will show that two-thirds of members think a new adviser is 'vital' The institution sees the new role being modelled on those of the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser.

The person in charge would not change with a change of government and would become the principal adviser on transport infrastructure, the built environment, energy, flooding and water and waste management.

ICE president Douglas Oakervee said: 'The results of this survey show our members recognise the need for a high level representative to lead the continuous improvement of the UK's infrastructure and overcome the stop-start, short-term fixes of recent years.

'Planning, developing and maintaining the nation's infrastructure requires a long-term perspective, beyond that possible within the life of a single parliament or even a government.

'Short-term fixes do not work and, as decisions may be politically unpalatable in the context of vote winning, we need an independent representative to ensure timely action followed up by continuity of purpose, which is essential to the long-term good of the nation.'