Annual Monitoring Report 2021

Status:Final report complete.  

An assessment of the government’s progress in delivering infrastructure projects and programmes recommended by the Commission.


A significant milestone was achieved at the end of 2020 with the publication of the UK’s first ever National Infrastructure Strategy. This was produced in response to the Commission’s 2018 National Infrastructure Assessment which set out a costed long term plan for the UK’s economic infrastructure from 2020 to 2050.

The fact that government published the National Infrastructure Strategy in the face of enormous upheaval created by the Covid-19 pandemic is much to its credit.

We anticipate that publication of the National Infrastructure Strategy will catalyse decision making and investment across all sectors, helping to address the challenges of levelling up the UK’s economic geography and achieving net zero. Infrastructure can also help create the conditions for a market led recovery from the major economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But achieving this will require detailed planning, delivery roadmaps backed up by stable funding plans and, where relevant, clarity of regulatory oversight. These are critical factors for the successful delivery of the policy aspirations and targets government has now provided.

This report sets out the priorities that need to be addressed over the next year to start turning ambitions into reality. A clear roadmap for delivering charging infrastructure is needed to enable a ban on the sale on new petrol or diesel cars within the next decade, for instance; and a workable plan for ensuring the hardest to reach homes and businesses get the benefits of high capacity broadband.

We also remain of the view that major, long term investment is needed in urban public transport outside London if we are to tackle congestion in some of our largest cities and stimulate economic growth.

In offering these proposed next steps we acknowledge the uncertain backdrop caused by one of the worst economic shocks in a century. The Commission is exploring different scenarios for the potential long term behaviour patterns that may follow the Covid-19 pandemic and influence demand for and use of infrastructure. This work will help inform our work on our second National Infrastructure Assessment, due to be published in 2023.

In the shorter term, when it comes to infrastructure, government’s priority for the coming year must be to set out the policy levers and delivery plans with clear milestones that are needed to ensure tangible progress. 2020’s policy statements set the bar high: 2021 must be a year of turning policy goals into delivery.

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Sir John Armitt, Chair

Final Report

2021 Annual Monitoring Report

This is the Commission’s fourth Annual Monitoring Report, monitoring progress made by the government in delivering against recommendations made by the Commission.

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