The Commission adopts a place based approach to its thinking, reflecting the results of social research which showed 8 in 10 people believe good infrastructure is necessary to support a good quality of life.
Infrastructure helps form the identity of places as well as creating efficient links between them. Better transport infrastructure can alleviate bottlenecks to growth in congested areas and improve connectivity, while infrastructure improvements also have the potential, alongside other policies such as skills training, to increase growth in lower productivity areas and help efforts to level up the economy.
The role that infrastructure can play in levelling up economic opportunities across towns and cities in English regions is one of three strategic themes shaping the Commission’s work programme leading up to the second National Infrastructure Assessment. In the Baseline Report for that Assessment, the Commission committed to undertaking two projects on this topic: one on improving urban mobility and congestion, looking at the role of mass transit systems and also the potential of demand management such as through congestion charging; the other on the role of multi-modal interurban transport networks, looking at the investment they need and the potential role to be played by new technologies.
Our work on activity has close connections to our transport and digital themes. Our study on Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration, for example, considered how infrastructure, both transport and digital infrastructure, can support economic growth & better quality of life in towns as part of a long term place-based strategy. It recommended that government should make changes to the funding system to make it more flexible and better able to support councils in delivering their local and regional strategic growth plans.
And in June 2022 we published our Getting cities moving report, which identified getting more people making more trips into and around city centres was essential for English cities outside of London to have any chance of succeeding in levelling up their regional economies. To do that, in the face of post-pandemic uncertainty about transport demand, cities will need flexible strategic transport plans that can adapt to a range of future transport demand scenarios. And to avoid adding to already congested roads and undermining their efforts to meet net zero targets, they’ll need to actively shift more of those additional journeys from cars to other modes of transport. That means cities will need to make improvements that ensure public transport and active travel are more attractive and reliable options for more travellers, while also giving serious consideration to some form of demand management.
The Commission’s Cities programme set out best practice approaches to help cities develop effective integrated infrastructure strategies, drawing on evidence from five case study cities which have already successfully created such a plan.
While the Commission’s remit does not include housing provision, we have advised government on how utility services can better support proposed housing developments and help enable the scale of house building needed to accommodate a growing population.
Data on place
A range of data sets relating to the theme of place is available to review on our Data pages. This includes data sets used in Commission reports, as well as historic data sets. Each can be reviewed online or downloaded.Review data
West Yorkshire leaders engage on region’s infrastructure goals
Yesterday (5 July) saw Commissioners up in Leeds for our third regional visit of the summer, meeting West Yorkshire leaders and businesses to better understand the city region’s infrastructure priorities. After a one-to-one meeting, Sir John Armitt and West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin co-hosted a roundtable with representatives from the combined authority, Leeds City Council,...
Getting cities moving
An interim report for the second National Infrastructure Assessment says cities will need to pursue adaptive transport solutions in response to the uncertainties around transport demand resulting from the recent pandemic.
Getting cities moving past “Covid fog” critical for success of levelling up
Enabling people to make more trips in and around our major cities is a challenge that city leaders and national government must tackle head on by making urban transport networks work better – within carbon constraints – if they are to achieve levelling up, according to a new report from the National Infrastructure Commission. The...
NIA2 Baseline Charts
Data from the Baseline Report providing an overview of the current performance of the infrastructure sectors within the Commission's remit
Infrastructure Progress Review 2022
Our annual assessment of the government's progress on implementing its commitments on infrastructure.
Commission highlights “slow progress” on infrastructure plans to deliver levelling up and net zero goals
The government is at risk of failing to deliver the aims of its National Infrastructure Strategy unless it picks up the pace with detailed policy design and implementation, the UK’s official independent infrastructure adviser has warned. The National Infrastructure Commission says that clear, long term goals are now in place across most infrastructure areas and...
“Ambitious implementation programme” essential to success of Levelling Up
The government has today published its Levelling Up white paper setting out its programme to ensure economic opportunity is more evenly spread across the whole country. It includes invitations to nine areas to create new county-wide deals and negotiations over ‘trailblazing’ devolution expansions deals with Manchester and West Midlands mayoral combined authorities. The white paper...
National Infrastructure Assessment
An analysis of the UK’s long term economic infrastructure needs, outlining a strategic vision over the next thirty years.
Commission pinpoints strategic gaps in infrastructure planning ahead of next landmark national assessment
The National Infrastructure Commission has announced the topics that will sit at the heart of its next major assessment of the UK’s long term infrastructure priorities, to be published in 2023, following analysis of the current performance of key sectors. The priorities will include identifying the infrastructure needed for hydrogen and carbon capture and storage...
Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report
Our analysis of the performance of key infrastructure sectors which will inform the work leading to the UK's second National Infrastructure Assessment
Fundamental shift in funding to local level needed to help level up English towns
Levelling up towns will require a shift in government’s approach from announcing multiple ringfenced pots of money – many of which councils must compete over – to instead handing power to local areas to deliver their own infrastructure strategies with five-year devolved budgets, according to the UK’s official infrastructure advisers. In a report launched today...