Lord Adonis today urged the country’s political and business leaders to keep a clear focus on the long-term needs of the country and continue investing in infrastructure.
Speaking in central London, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission argued that while Brexit negotiations will continue, it is important that major projects do not face delay because of it.
With that in mind, he highlighted how the Commission is planning for the long-term through the country’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment. It will consider infrastructure needs to 2050 – including long after the UK has left the European Union.
He also argued that key projects in the pipeline must get the go-ahead, including Heathrow’s third runway, Crossrail 2 in London and HS3 connecting the major Northern cities.
Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:
“The economic benefits of infrastructure are clear to see – whether that’s a new tram system connecting communities in Manchester, the way Birmingham New Street station has transformed that part of the city and the rollout of superfast broadband.
“As Brexit negotiations dominate the political landscape, it’s too easy to lose sight of the next projects in the pipeline, and what the country needs not just over the next five years, but to 2050.
“That’s why we must make progress on major projects in the pipeline – a Crossrail 2 is needed in London just as much as HS3 in the North. It’s also why we are working on the country’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment, so we can be well-placed to meet the country’s needs even as the political situation develops and changes.”
Building on international experiences
Lord Adonis was speaking at an infrastructure conference hosted by the British-Australian Chamber of Commerce.
The forthcoming National Infrastructure Assessment will build on the experience of the Australian Infrastructure Plan, developed by Infrastructure Australia, which examined the country’s needs over 15 years.
The UK’s first-ever Assessment will go further, and will look to consider infrastructure needs up until 2050. The first phase will be a consultation published in the next few weeks; the final assessment will then be published next year. Its recommendations will be tied to clear funding limits, offering greater clarity for investors and the infrastructure industry as a whole.