Infrastructure Progress Review 2024

Status:Final report complete.   Published:

Our latest annual assessment of the government's progress on implementing its commitments on infrastructure.

Foreword

Looking back over the last 12 months, this report charts mixed progress.

There has been continued expansion in the reach of digital networks, and devolution deals for several city regions to offer them the ability to plan their own infrastructure strategies, as the Commission has long advocated. On the other hand, take up of electrified home heating options remains too low, and policy changes on rail strategy have created uncertainty.

The Commission’s second National Infrastructure Assessment, published last October, set out a costed package of recommendations covering many of these areas.

As we await the government’s formal response to the second Assessment, this report doesn’t just look back on progress over the last year – but also sets out the things we advise should be prioritised over the next five years.

We face a make or break time for the long term prospects of UK infrastructure.

Big decisions lie ahead – particularly choices made in a refreshed National Infrastructure Strategy and associated spending commitments. These will set a trajectory that determines whether we get the infrastructure we all want for the future.

More specifically, they will determine whether the UK meets its own deadlines for goals such as growing regional economies, decarbonising the electricity grid and making the economy more resilient to the effects of climate change.

It’s a critical period for making decisions on things that are of immediate concern to the public – the three Ps of prices, potholes and pollution:

  • Energy prices – reducing the costs of heat pumps and continuing progress on generating more electricity from renewables should set household energy bills on a downward trajectory over the longer term. But this requires coherent policy and long term funding to cover the transition cost for less well off households
  • Potholes – the recent boost in funding for local transport should be sustained, giving all local transport authorities stable funding rounds to enable them to plan for better maintenance as well as improvements
  • Water pollution – decisions this year on future investment levels need to enable transformative change to fix interconnected sewage and drainage problems.

The pressing need for a comprehensive plan to sort out railway connections across and between the North and Midlands also looms large in many people’s daily experience, and in this report we offer new analysis to help inform that evolving work.

Across all infrastructure sectors, a window remains to ensure that practical delivery plans are in place, backed up by the necessary public and private funding, to help achieve economic and environmental goals that will improve life for British households.

But the window is closing, at least if we don’t want to delay those benefits and compound the disruption of recent years. The UK is not alone in facing these challenges. But we have every right to be ambitious for our infrastructure, and decisions can’t be ducked if we’re to turn aspirations into reality.

Sir John Armitt

Latest Updates

Coming up in 2024
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Coming up in 2024

This page shows a calendar reflecting the latest expected dates for Commission reports, publications and events. You can also sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter by entering your email address in the box at the foot of each website page.

1 Feb 2024 By
Window closing on infrastructure catch up, warn government advisers
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Window closing on infrastructure catch up, warn government advisers

Failure to go further, faster over the next five years on plans for infrastructure delivery could constrain economic growth and threaten climate targets, according to the government’s official infrastructure advisers. Noting the UK has faced several years of disruption from Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, the National Infrastructure Commission’s annual review charts a mixed picture...

16 May 2024 By

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