Britain’s infrastructure must overcome major challenges if it is to meet the needs of future generations. Most important over the coming decades will be addressing the threats posed to the country’s prosperity and quality of life by congestion, lack of capacity and carbon.
Objectives of the consultation
The need to address the UK’s weaknesses in infrastructure planning is widely recognised. The establishment of the National Infrastructure Commission provides the opportunity to tackle these long-standing problems. A central responsibility of the Commission is to carry out a National Infrastructure Assessment every five years. Getting this right would give the UK in 2050 a stronger economy, increased international competitiveness, and a better quality of life.
This consultation marked the next phase of the UK’s first National Infrastructure Assessment, setting out the Commission’s vision and priorities for action, and what needs to be done to achieve them. Addressing the threats of congestion, lack of capacity and carbon requires a focus on seven key priorities:
- Building a digital society: fast, reliable data services everywhere.
- Connected, liveable city-regions: linking homes and jobs.
- New homes and communities: supporting delivery of new homes.
- Low-cost, low-carbon: ending emissions from power, heat and waste.
- Revolutionising road transport: seizing the opportunities of electric and autonomous vehicles.
- Reducing the risks of extreme weather: making sure the UK can stand up to drought and flooding.
- Financing infrastructure in efficient ways: getting the right balance between public and private sectors.
Addressing these seven priorities will equip the UK with the infrastructure it most needs.
This consultation closed on 12 January 2018.
To download the consultation document, please follow the link below.
CIBSE welcomed this consultation and its general objectives to enhance the natural environment, apply long-term decisions, and create pleasant and healthy places to live, as well as the stated intent to collaborate across government departments.
The Institution also welcomed the recognition that green infrastructure can provide benefits in terms of quality of life and water management, however, there was limited mention of green infrastructure beyond these general statements, and CIBSE feels the proposals could and should be strengthened in this area. The importance of the natural environment should be recognised not only in the need to protect it, but also in view of the multiple potential benefits it can bring, helping to meet the government’s objectives in areas such as carbon emissions, air quality, health and wellbeing.
To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below.