Adonis welcomes £400m response to National Infrastructure Commission recommendations

Published: 16 Mar 2016



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Andrew Adonis, interim Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, has today (Wednesday 16 March) welcomed the government’s £430 million response to the Commission’s recommendations made across three pre-budget reports – Smart Power, Transport for a World City and High Speed North.

Andrew Adonis said:

“The National Infrastructure Commission was established to transform the way we plan and deliver major infrastructure projects. I am glad that the government has accepted our first three reports.

“Putting HS3 at the heart of a new High Speed North can help bring our great Northern cities together and fire growth and Crossrail 2 is vital to keep more than 10 million Londoners moving in the 2030s. A Smart Power revolution across our energy sector – principally built around three innovations, Interconnection, Storage, and Demand Flexibility – could save consumers up to £8 billion a year by 2030, help the UK meet its 2050 carbon targets, and secure the UK’s energy supply for generations.”

The Chancellor has today announced more than a £400m will be invested in supporting recommendations made by the National Infrastructure Commission.

Budget 2016 Red Book

1.230 The government has set up the new National Infrastructure Commission, chaired by Lord Adonis, to produce a clear picture of the future infrastructure the country needs and provide expert, independent advice on infrastructure priorities.

1.231 The commission has begun work on a National Infrastructure Assessment, which will establish priorities for the decades to come. It will set out an overarching, long-term vision and the government will be obliged to respond formally.

1.232 In the shorter term, the Chancellor asked the commission to report on three high-priority issues by Budget 2016: Northern connectivity, London transport and energy infrastructure. The commission has now published its first three reports and has made innovative proposals to address some of the country’s most pressing infrastructure challenges. This Budget confirms that the government accepts the commission’s recommendations, as set out later in this chapter:

  • the government is providing £300 million of funding to improve northern transport connectivity and is giving the green light to High Speed 3 between Leeds and Manchester to reduce journey times to around 30 minutes, in response to the commission’s report ‘High Speed North’
  • the government is giving the green light to Crossrail 2, supported by £80 million to help fund development, in response to the commission’s report ‘Transport for a World City’. The government is asking Transport for London to match that contribution, with the aim of depositing a Hybrid Bill within this Parliament
  • the government will lay the foundations for a smart power revolution, with support for innovation in storage and other smart technologies, and an increased level of ambition on interconnection, which the NIC estimates could unlock benefits to UK consumers of up to £8 billion per year

1.244 The government will allocate at least £50 million for innovation in energy storage, demand-side response and other smart technologies over the next five years to help new technologies and business models access the market. Ofgem will consult later this year on the future of the £100 million Network Innovation Competition to maximise the delivery of genuinely innovative projects and technologies.

1.291 The government supports the vision set out by Transport for the North (TfN) in their Northern Transport Strategy and accepts the recommendations from the National Infrastructure Commission on northern connectivity. The government will take forward these proposals with a total of £300 million of funding.

1.334 The government accepts the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations and is giving the green light for Crossrail 2 to proceed to the next stage. The government will therefore provide a contribution of £80 million to fund the development of Crossrail 2, and asks Transport for London to match that contribution to ensure that the project can be fully developed with the aim of depositing a Hybrid Bill within this Parliament. The National Infrastructure Commission has recommended that clear proposals are identified to significantly reduce and phase costs and that a funding package is developed that involves London funding more than half of the cost of the project. The government will work closely with Transport for London to ensure that both of these recommendations are met.

The National Infrastructure Commission’s central findings

Smart Power (Published March 4 2016) The Commission’s central finding is that Smart Power – principally built around three innovations, Interconnection, Storage, and Demand Flexibility – could save consumers up to £8 billion a year by 2030, help the UK meet its 2050 carbon targets, and secure the UK’s energy supply for generations.

Transport for a World City (Published March 10 2016) The Commission’s central finding, subject to the recommendations within the report, is that Crossrail 2 should be taken forward as a priority. Funding should be made available now to develop the scheme fully with the aim of submitting a hybrid bill by autumn 2019. This would enable Crossrail 2 to open in 2033.

High Speed North (Published March 16 2016) Our central finding is that the North needs immediate and very significant investment for action now and a plan for longer term transformation to reduce journey times, increase capacity and improve reliability. On rail, this means kick-starting HS3, integrating it with HS2 and planning for the redevelopment of the North’s gateway stations. On roads, investment should be brought forwards for an early boost in capacity on the M62, the North’s most important east-west link, alongside funding to identify and assess proposals for tackling a range of other strategic challenges.

The government is consulting on the structure, governance and operation of the commission, which is currently in interim form, and proposes to introduce legislation to put it on a statutory footing. The public consultation closes on 17 March.

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