National Infrastructure Assessment   |   Study

Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report

In brief

This Baseline Report sets out the current state of the UK’s economic infrastructure and identifies key challenges for the coming decades. The Commission will make recommendations to address these challenges in the second National Infrastructure Assessment, to be published in the second half of 2023.

Since the first Assessment, there has been progress on some issues:

These include full fibre rollout, electricity decarbonisation, drought resilience, infrastructure financing – through the creation of the UK Infrastructure Bank – and design.

However, in other areas, there is more to be done:

  • greenhouse gas emissions from economic infrastructure must reduce further, fast
  • asset maintenance issues undermine performance in some sectors
  • more than three million properties in England are at risk from surface water flooding
  • serious pollution incidents from water and sewerage are unacceptably high
  • urban transport connectivity varied and is poor in many places.

Future trends and government commitments will bring new challenges:

  • climate change will make it harder to make and keep infrastructure resilience
  • nature is declining at unprecedented rates
  • the Covid-19 pandemic may lead to long term changes in where people live and work
  • new and emerging technologies will offer opportunities across sectors.

Delivering on these challenges will require bold action, stable plans and long term funding.

The Commission has identified nine key challenges for the second Assessment:

  • all sectors will need to take the opportunities of new digital technologies
  • the electricity system must decarbonise fast to meet the sixth Carbon Budget
  • decarbonising heat will require major changes to the way people heat their homes
  • new networks will be needed for hydrogen and carbon capture and storage
  • good asset management will be crucial as the effects of climate change increase
  • action is needed to improve surface water management as flood risk increases
  • the waste sector must support the move to a circular economy
  • improved urban mobility and reduced congestion can boost urban productivity
  • a multimodal interurban transport strategy can support regional growth.

The Commission welcomes views on these key challenges and encourages readers to respond to the Call for Evidence questions set out in this document. The Commission will also hold events during the call for evidence period and in the run up to the second Assessment.

Status: Evidence gathering

National Infrastructure Assessment

An assessment of the United Kingdom's infrastructure needs to 2050 and beyond.

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Latest Updates

We’re recruiting: Senior Policy Adviser – Digital
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We’re recruiting: Senior Policy Adviser – Digital

As part of its work leading up to the second National Infrastructure Assessment in H2 2023, the Commission’s work on the UK’s digital infrastructure will take a particular focus on its role in transforming other infrastructure sectors, to lower costs and increase performance and improve resilience. We’re looking to appoint a senior policy adviser who...

29 Nov 2021 By
Baseline Report Annex A: Digital
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Baseline Report Annex A: Digital

15 Nov 2021
Baseline Report Annex B: Energy
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Baseline Report Annex B: Energy

Analysis of the UK's energy generation infrastructure which informs the Baseline Report.

15 Nov 2021
Baseline Report Annex C: Flood resilience

Baseline Report Annex C: Flood resilience

Analysis of the country's approach to flood risk management, which informs the Baseline Report.

15 Nov 2021
Baseline Report Annex D: Water and wastewater

Baseline Report Annex D: Water and wastewater

Analysis of the country's water and wastewater infrastructure which informs the Baseline Report for the second National Infrastructure Assessment.

15 Nov 2021
Baseline Report Annex E: Waste

Baseline Report Annex E: Waste

Analysis of the UK's waste infrastructure which informs the Baseline Report for the second National Infrastructure Assessment.

15 Nov 2021
Baseline Report Annex F: Transport

Baseline Report Annex F: Transport

Analysis of the country's transport infrastructure which informs the Baseline Report for the second National Infrastructure Assessment.

15 Nov 2021
Baseline Report: Social research
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Baseline Report: Social research

15 Nov 2021

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