National Infrastructure Assessment – an assessment of the United Kingdom’s infrastructure needs up to 2050

Sir John Armitt

The first National Infrastructure Assessment sets out the Commission’s plan of action for the country’s infrastructure over the next 10-30 years. Infrastructure can inspire confidence and growth. But long term projects require a long-term vision, lasting plans, and stable funding. The UK must take decisive action.

The Commission’s recommendations represent a significant programme of upgrades to the nation’s infrastructure. But they are not an unaffordable wish list. They have been costed in line with the government’s guideline for investment in infrastructure. And they are affordable for households and businesses.

The Commission was set up to address the lack of a long term infrastructure strategy, siloed decision making in infrastructure sectors, fragile political consensus and short termism. The Commission has addressed these issues by taking a long term, cross-sectoral approach, with in-depth analysis and wide consultation.

The government has committed to respond to the Commission’s recommendations and to adopt agreed recommendations as government policy.

The recommendations set out a pathway for the UK’s economic infrastructure:

  • nationwide full fibre broadband by 2033
  • half of the UK’s power provided by renewables by 2030
  • three quarters of plastic packaging recycled by 2030
  • £43 billion of stable long term transport funding for regional cities
  • preparing for 100 per cent electric vehicle sales by 2030
  • ensuring resilience to extreme drought
  • a national standard of flood resilience for all communities by 2050.

Alongside these, better design and more efficient funding and financing can save money, reduce risk, add value and create a legacy that looks good and works well.

These recommendations will equip the UK with the infrastructure it most needs. The Commission will continue to work to build consensus. It will hold government to account for the implementation of its recommendations. And it will continue to work on the nation’s most pressing infrastructure issues.