Organisations respond to the interim National Infrastructure Assessment
Federation of Small Businesses:
“This is an important moment setting out long-term priorities to improve the UK’s infrastructure, which is vital for small businesses to be able to compete and grow.
“Small firms are hugely reliant on a well-maintained and integrated transport network allowing them to easily reach current and potential customers and their suppliers. These needs will only grow in future, further highlighting the need for continuing investment.
“The transition towards a distributed, low-carbon energy system poses enormous challenges for the UK electricity and gas networks. It requires careful planning to ensure the cost of this expensive and extensive infrastructure investment is shared out fairly amongst tax and bill payers. Almost 10 per cent of small businesses generate their own electricity, but a wider roll-out of renewable energy and electric vehicles can’t happen without significant progress in improving our energy network.”
Mike Cherry, National Chairman
Institution of Civil Engineers:
“The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) was created to take an independent, evidence-led and long-term strategic view of the UK’s future infrastructure needs. Such an approach is key to enabling the most effective planning and delivery of our infrastructure networks.
“The interim report builds on the work the Institution for Civil Engineers (ICE) began with the National Needs Assessment (NNA), which we published last year. This was the blueprint for the NIC’s work and we’re pleased to see they have continued the approach of trying to break down siloed decision-making.
“We will continue to work closely with the NIC as they develop the full National Infrastructure Assessment in 2018.”
Director General Nick Baveystock
Centre for Cities:
“UK cities are the main drivers of growth in the national economy, but they face significant infrastructure challenges which must be addressed for them to thrive and prosper in the coming years. In particular, that means responding to the increasing demand for housing and transport infrastructure in many cities, and tackling the costs of economic growth in urban areas such as congestion and air pollution.
“We welcome the National Infrastructure Commission’s focus on these issues, and urge national and local leaders to act by ensuring our cities have the infrastructure they need to realise their economic potential.”
Andrew Carter, Chief Executive
Core Cities UK:
“I welcome the launch of this ambitious and far reaching National Infrastructure Assessment and want to pay tribute to the work done by Lord Adonis.
“The UK’s infrastructure is currently not fit for purpose and is holding back economic growth particularly in the UK’s biggest cities. This must be addressed as we approach Brexit, and as the human costs of poor Air Quality become ever more apparent.
“This is an issue for all UK cities, recognising that our economy relies on London and all the Core Cities being able to deliver more. But we also cannot expect cities outside the South East to accept delayed or reversed decisions on infrastructure commitments whilst others go ahead. As a nation we need to move on from an ‘either-or’ process of decision making, investing to grow the whole of our economy, and creating more freedom in local decision making to speed up the process and reduce costs.
“We look forward to working with Lord Adonis and the Commission to deliver the infrastructure our nation needs, and that the communities and businesses of our cities deserve.”
Cllr Judith Blake CBE, Leader, Leeds City Council, Chair
“The Commission is right to highlight the pressure on the UK’s water and sewerage networks posed by a growing population and climate change. The way forward lies in smarter use of networks and resources, as well as significant ongoing investment in infrastructure.
“We welcome the Commission’s recognition of the improvements being made by the water sector and the importance of continued access to private finance to serve the country’s infrastructure needs. We look forward to working with the Commission as it prepares its first National Infrastructure Assessment.”
Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of Water UK
“We have to tackle the increasing congestion that risks bringing the UK’s transport links to a halt and stifling our economic growth. Government must get on with expansion at Heathrow and finally commit to long-term plans for new capacity on our railways including Crossrail 2.”
John Dickie, director of strategy and policy at business group
Institute for Government
“Lord Adonis is right to identify erratic policy making as a key barrier to effective investment in infrastructure. New projects are dreamt up, reframed and scrapped with little consideration of long-term objectives. This results in uncertainty, delays and increased costs for taxpayers and consumers. The National Infrastructure Commission is our best hope of breaking this cycle of short-termism and we hope that its suggestions are heeded by both the Government and opposition.”
Research Manager, Nick Davies