Transport

Well planned and integrated transport investment can be an important ingredient in driving economic growth and improving quality of life.

Updated:

Aerial view of a complex motorway road junction with traffic moving. Cars, lorries, vans and a train can be seen travelling through a busy road interchange from above

The Commission undertakes research into specific transport proposals when asked to do so by government, but also advises on broader questions of policy and approach to planning upgrades and new investment in road, rail, and other transport modes.

We focus on what different transport modes each do best and how they integrate with other types of transport to create the most efficient and user friendly systems for passengers. Our work involves considering how better transport networks can help address the economic geography of the country, and in particular in towns and cities.

This research seeks to anticipate future usage trends, such as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on public transport, to help inform robust recommendations for investment and policy making.

With a long term perspective, the Commission also considers likely developments in technology and what investment should be made to prepare our networks for the future.

With almost a quarter of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions currently coming from surface transport,  we actively consider the importance of decarbonising the UK’s travel by developing lower emission public transport systems and preparing for the widescale use of electric vehicles.

Tackling urban congestion is part of the solution: our research shows drivers on local urban roads lose an average of 75 seconds per mile compared to less than 10 seconds on the motorway network. Working closely with some of our largest towns and cities, we have explored and shared good practice for tackling congestion and other barriers to growth where travel solutions – in particular, better public transport – can play a role.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted patterns of work and travel right across the country. The Commission will be looking at how potential changes in behaviour arising from the pandemic may influence the demand for and use of infrastructure, and this will help inform our work on the second National Infrastructure Assessment.

Latest Updates

Historic Transport Datasets
A Princess Coronation (Duchess) class express steam locomotive steaming fast up the west coast main line on the fringes of the English Lake District. A car travelling in the opposite direction is on the adjacent M6 motorway.

Historic Transport Datasets

The Commission's Historic Transport Dataset provides select data on Britain's transport sector spanning back as far as 1870.

12 Mar 2021
Looking back at transport development
A Princess Coronation (Duchess) class express steam locomotive steaming fast up the west coast main line on the fringes of the English Lake District. A car travelling in the opposite direction is on the adjacent M6 motorway.

Looking back at transport development

If you’re reading this, you’ll probably know we recently launched our data pages, an area of our website which provides you with easy access to the data we have used, and data we think you’ll find interesting. As promised in our launch blog, we have now added our historic transport datasets which you can find...

12 Mar 2021 By
Plans of action needed next to deliver strategic goals, says Commission
Annual Monitoring Report 2021
Montage of images representing infrastructure, including a woman charging an electric vehicle and a man wearing a mask using public transport

Plans of action needed next to deliver strategic goals, says Commission

Detailed plans for decarbonising energy supply, accelerating the roll out of electric vehicle charge points and connecting hard to reach areas with high capacity broadband are among the next steps needed to ensure government can deliver its aims for levelling up and meeting the net zero target, according to the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission’s...

17 Feb 2021 By
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North
Manchester Piccadilly station

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North

15 Dec 2020
Focus rail investment on linking key cities in North and Midlands to unlock economic benefits, says Commission
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North
Image showing departure boards at Leeds station.

Focus rail investment on linking key cities in North and Midlands to unlock economic benefits, says Commission

Improving rail links between cities in the North and Midlands should be the first priority of a new approach to end stop-start investments and help level up the UK as part of a wider economic strategy, according to a major new report by the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission was asked by the Prime Minister in February 2020 to undertake an assessment of proposed major rail schemes to help inform the government’s...

15 Dec 2020 By
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Final report
A woman at a train station looking at departure boards

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Final report

15 Dec 2020
“A vital step and important signal”: Armitt responds to government plans for ‘green industrial revolution’

“A vital step and important signal”: Armitt responds to government plans for ‘green industrial revolution’

Responding to today’s announcement by the Prime Minister on government plans for a ‘green industrial revolution’, Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “A 2030 deadline for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans is a vital step to help the UK meet our net zero target. It’s an...

18 Nov 2020 By
Armitt speech on principles for urban infrastructure
Cities Programme
Portrait of Sir John Armitt

Armitt speech on principles for urban infrastructure

Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, delivered a speech today (7 October 2020) at the launch of the Commission’s report, Principles for effective urban infrastructure. The launch event was co-hosted with Centre for Cities. The text of Sir John’s speech can be found below.   Before I begin let me thank our...

7 Oct 2020 By
Armitt: A clear infrastructure policy is more vital than ever
windmills against a blue sky

Armitt: A clear infrastructure policy is more vital than ever

In a comment piece published in the Sunday Telegraph on 4 October 2020, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, reflects on the importance of a National Infrastructure Strategy for setting out the role of infrastructure in economic recovery, meeting the net zero target and ‘levelling up’. An edited version of the article...

4 Oct 2020 By
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: interim report
York, UK - August 05, 2013: York railway station where the platforms curve under the famous glass and iron curved arched roof. Train awaits departure to London. Some passengers are waiting train for departure.

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: interim report

15 Jul 2020
Broad view on rail benefits will help assess rail options for North and Midlands, says Commission

Broad view on rail benefits will help assess rail options for North and Midlands, says Commission

Decisions on future rail investment in the North and Midlands should consider factors that capture the wide range of benefits that rail transport into dense cities and towns can bring, according to the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission has today published an interim report which sets out the methodology it proposes to use to undertake...

15 Jul 2020 By
Rail Needs Assessment: the fiscal remit and the assessment budget
thumbnail of RNA Interim Report Technical Annex

Rail Needs Assessment: the fiscal remit and the assessment budget

15 Jul 2020

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