Engineering the Future (EtF), the alliance of engineering professional bodies hosted by the Royal Academy of Engineering, has created a ‘snapshot’ of UK infrastructure policy across the five infrastructure areas, energy, ICT, transport, waste and water that form the UK’s national economic infrastructure. Phase One of this project presented this information in the form of parallel timelines with a short narrative to explain the nature of interdependencies and why they have an important role in the development of government policy. The timelines provide a convenient and accessible way to assess policy and planning across the sectors of the UK’s economic infrastructure. The linear presentation allows the reader to begin to visualise the interdependencies and opportunities and see, at a glance, where and when events resulting from lack of capacity, co-ordination or planning are likely to occur.
These timelines provide a framework from which interdependencies between and among infrastructure polices and plans can be further examined. Phase Two of the Infrastructure Timelines project embarked upon deeper interdependencies analysis. The current timelines were frozen to enable attendees to test EtF’s timelines, alongside other interdependency tools currently in development at a workshop involving many of the constituent members of EtF. Further information about this workshop is detailed in the following chapters. As the timelines evolve and the ability to analyse interdependencies develops it should enable EtF, academics and government departments to identify areas where a lack of discernible policy could lead to wider failures in interdependent sectors of UK national infrastructure or where synergetic opportunities presented by those interdependencies should be captured.
The lead for government policy over the five infrastructure areas is shared across a number of Departments of State, sometimes with strong delineation and sometimes with wide cooperation. Policy is constantly developing and, as policies are consulted on and published, the overall landscape will change; this is evident by the changes that have occurred between the Infrastructure Timelines Phase One and Phase Two reports. These changes are discussed in Appendix A titled Significant Changes since Phase One. The timelines should continue to provide an updatable tool that can chart the changing policy and delivery landscape.