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

Summary

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 Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report published in November 2021 set out three strategic themes which will shape the Commission’s work for the second Assessment to be published in 2023, one of which is Supporting levelling up.

Analysis in the Baseline Report shows significant variation in the quality of transport provision which can affect economic outcomes, and people’s quality of life. Improving transport provision is therefore crucial to the goal of levelling up economic opportunities in all parts of the country.

To this end, the second Assessment will undertake projects to address two key challenges: how improved urban mobility and addressing congestion, and how multimodal interurban transport strategies, can both support regional growth.

Transport data

A range of transport data sets 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

Latest Updates

“A realistic plan for major long term investments”: Commission responds to Integrated Rail Plan
Image showing departure boards at Leeds station.

“A realistic plan for major long term investments”: Commission responds to Integrated Rail Plan

Responding to the government’s publication of its Integrated Rail Plan, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said: “We now have a realistic plan for major long term investments to improve rail for the North and Midlands in the face of public spending constraints. In our advice to government the Commission made the...

18 Nov 2021 By
National Infrastructure Assessment

National Infrastructure Assessment

An analysis of the UK’s long term economic infrastructure needs, outlining a strategic vision over the next thirty years.

15 Nov 2021
Commission pinpoints strategic gaps in infrastructure planning ahead of next landmark national assessment
Images from front cover of Baseline Report

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...

15 Nov 2021 By
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
Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report
Images from front cover of Baseline Report

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

15 Nov 2021
Welcome spending plans should “support a more stable national infrastructure planning cycle”

Welcome spending plans should “support a more stable national infrastructure planning cycle”

Responding to today’s Budget and Spending Review, Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “With reasonable capital settlements for key areas including local transport outside London, and an increase in the guidelines for projected infrastructure spending for the long term, these announcements indicate a government keen to support a more stable national...

27 Oct 2021 By
Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration
Night time cityscape of houses in Walsall, UK

Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration

A study exploring how infrastructure investment can support economic prosperity and good quality of life in towns across the country.

23 Sep 2021
Fundamental shift in funding to local level needed to help level up English towns
Wetherby from the air

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...

23 Sep 2021 By
Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration
Wetherby from the air

Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration

23 Sep 2021
PWC Towns social research study
blurred Large crowd of people

PWC Towns social research study

23 Sep 2021
Government responds to Commission’s study on future of freight
UK Mail lorry on the viaduct

Government responds to Commission’s study on future of freight

The government has today (4 August 2021) published its formal response to the Commission’s 2019 study, Better delivery: the challenge for freight. This study found that through the adoption of new technologies and the recognition of freight’s needs in the planning system, it is possible to decarbonise road and rail freight by 2050 and manage...

4 Aug 2021 By
The long term role of cars in towns
Blurred silhouettes of cars surrounded by steam from the exhaust pipes

The long term role of cars in towns

An opinion piece by Mike Davis, Consultant Engineer at E4Tech, and Jo Garvey-Rae, Senior Cost Manager at Turner & Townsend, both members of the Commission’s Young Professionals Panel. The last 12 months has seen a renewed recognition that some towns and places are being left behind, both in terms of productivity and wider quality of...

28 Jul 2021 By
We must press the accelerator on transport decarbonisation
Buses at a busy bus station

We must press the accelerator on transport decarbonisation

An opinion piece by Caroline Bryce, Asset Management Adviser at Mott MacDonald and member of the Commission’s Young Professionals Panel. The UK announced its sixth Carbon Budget earlier this year, committing to reducing emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. The government expects to achieve this target through investing and capitalising...

20 Jul 2021 By
Commission responds to net zero transport plans

Commission responds to net zero transport plans

The government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan was published on 14 July 2021, with the initial announcement including confirmation that government will consult on a 2035 date for ending the sale of new diesel and petrol vans, and a 2040 date for ending the sale of new larger HGVs. Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure...

14 Jul 2021 By
Welcome boost for electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Welcome boost for electric vehicle charging infrastructure

The energy regulator Ofgem has today announced £300m of investment to ensure the UK has the energy infrastructure necessary to support the move to low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies. This includes new infrastructure to support 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points at motorway service areas. In response, a National Infrastructure Commission spokesperson...

24 May 2021 By

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Explore data used in the Commission's research, and gain insights from across UK infrastructure

Join our team of professionals supporting the Commission to provide evidence based and forward thinking advice on infrastructure strategy.