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.

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 widescale use of electric vehicles.

Tackling congestion is part of the solution: currently, 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 also explore and share good practice for tackling congestion and other barriers to growth where travel solutions – in particular, better public transport – can play a role.

Latest Updates

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
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North
Manchester Piccadilly station

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North

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
Call for input to shape vision for the future of rail in the Midlands and the north
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.

Call for input to shape vision for the future of rail in the Midlands and the north

The National Infrastructure Commission has today invited businesses, passengers, transport experts and regional leaders to share their ideas for transforming the rail landscape of the north alongside the East and West Midlands and help create a lasting legacy from the construction of High Speed 2 (HS2).  The Commission has launched a new call for evidence which kicks off its work on a Rail Needs Assessment covering large parts of England and stretching north to Scotland. This assessment will inform the government’s plans for an Integrated Rail Plan for the the Midlands...

25 Mar 2020 By
Rail Needs Assessment: call for evidence
Cover of the Rail Needs Assessment Call for Evidence report

Rail Needs Assessment: call for evidence

25 Mar 2020
Annual Monitoring Report 2020 annex
Abstract image of a computer

Annual Monitoring Report 2020 annex

26 Feb 2020
Annual Monitoring Report 2020
thumbnail of NIC 2020 AMR Final

Annual Monitoring Report 2020

26 Feb 2020
Armitt: Government’s infrastructure strategy can’t stop at HS2

Armitt: Government’s infrastructure strategy can’t stop at HS2

Ministers should take their “golden moment of opportunity” to make firm decisions on developing sustainable infrastructure beyond HS2, the Chair of the government’s independent infrastructure Commission has said today. Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, told MPs and Peers that existing projects which pass environmental and financial muster should be accelerated as...

12 Feb 2020 By
High Speed 2 given go-ahead

High Speed 2 given go-ahead

The Prime Minister today confirmed the government is to proceed with the High Speed 2 rail project between London, the midlands and the north of England. The government has further indicated it seeks to ensure HS2’s full integration with existing and future transport links in the north, informed by an assessment to be undertaken by...

11 Feb 2020 By
Connected Future: Getting back on track
A person on a train holding a mobile phone

Connected Future: Getting back on track

6 Feb 2020
Speedy action needed on EVs charging (letter)

Speedy action needed on EVs charging (letter)

National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt has today written a letter to the editor of The Times, in response to its article on the challenge of preparing for the expected growth in electric vehicles in the UK, part of a series of articles on the theme of ‘Electric Britain’. The text of his published...

16 Jan 2020 By
Capturing the value of urban transport investments
Bus in Bristol picking up passengers

Capturing the value of urban transport investments

29 Oct 2019
Public transport choices and the future of mobility
Bus in Bristol picking up passengers

Public transport choices and the future of mobility

Much is uncertain about the opportunities and challenges that will be presented by mobility in the future – but the choices that are made by politicians now on how to support effective public transport are sure to be critical, no matter what is ahead. Technological change can come much faster or much slower than expected,...

23 Sep 2019 By
Government must go further to entice drivers to go electric

Government must go further to entice drivers to go electric

The government has announced that it is doubling funding for on-street electric vehicle charging to support over 1,000 new charge points across the country. An additional £2.5 million will help local authorities install charging infrastructure, which can be built into existing structures like lamp-posts. The scheme is intended to help people who don’t have off-street...

13 Aug 2019 By
Prime Minister sets out vision for Northern rail connectivity

Prime Minister sets out vision for Northern rail connectivity

The Prime Minister has today set out plans for a new high speed rail connection between Leeds and Manchester as part of a wider programme to revitalise transport and improve connectivity in the North of England. In a wide-ranging speech in Manchester this morning, the Prime Minister committed to funding a high-speed rail connection between...

27 Jul 2019 By
New charging infrastructure essential to build on investment in UK electric vehicle technology

New charging infrastructure essential to build on investment in UK electric vehicle technology

News of a boost for electric vehicle manufacturing and positive sales are a vote of confidence in an electric future for UK road transport, but must be matched by investment in charging infrastructure to help drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel cars and vans to electric, reduce air pollution and support efforts to...

5 Jul 2019 By
London electric vehicle plan must inspire action to charge up all UK cities

London electric vehicle plan must inspire action to charge up all UK cities

London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s programme to boost electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the capital annouced today recognises the importance of new infrastructure to support the wider take-up of electric cars and vans, in line with National Infrastructure Commission recommendations, but it should form part of wider national initiatives to boost the take-up of electric vehicles...

17 Jun 2019 By
Britain can become an electric vehicle country by 2030

Britain can become an electric vehicle country by 2030

After 100 years of incremental change, we are on the cusp of a revolution on our roads. The age of the internal combustion engine is being consigned to history, but all too slowly. Today vehicles contribute to 80 per cent of air pollution breaches in the UK. The Times’ Clean Air For All campaign is...

Freight: a Young Professionals Panel perspective

Freight: a Young Professionals Panel perspective

Young people benefit from the UK’s freight industry – but they are also concerned about its impact. So, the Young Professionals Panel welcomes the Commission’s freight study Better Delivery: the challenge for freight and its recommendations to address this. A wide range of factors drive freight movements in the UK, including moving items we all...

2 May 2019 By

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