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Infrastructure blog

ICE calls on the next government to implement a three-point plan for more effective infrastructure

21 November 2019

The identity of the next government might well be uncertain, but regardless of which party or coalition takes up the mantle on the 13 December, they must do so with a clear plan for the UK’s infrastructure. This blog sets out three clear steps that the new government must take to ensure that our society is able to benefit from the very best infrastructure networks.

ICE calls on the next government to implement a three-point plan for more effective infrastructure
Image credit: Number 10/Flickr

Infrastructure investment is a means to an end and never an end in itself. Investment delivers outcomes for the public, it supports a higher quality of life, helps with mitigation and adaption to climate change and improves the competitiveness of the UK economy within an international context.

ICE wants to see the next government delivering on these ambitions by doing the following:

1. Publish a national strategy for infrastructure

This is a strategy that must be long-term, joined-up and based on the evidence produced by the National Infrastructure Commission. This will ensure the UK is well placed to tackle head on the challenges faced right across the country, be it increasing urbanisation, mitigating the effects of climate change or investing to create sustainable places for people to live, work and play.

ICE’s view on what should be included in such a strategy is outlined here.

2. Take a bold approach to deliver on the legislated net-zero by 2050 greenhouse gas target

While the initial vote was historic, this will pale into insignificance compared to the brave and historic trade-offs that will be required to get us to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

ICE is dedicating its State of the Nation next year to outlining the key steps that can be taken to lock in a trajectory towards net-zero – both for government and industry alike.

ICE recently held a presidential roundtable looking at some of the challenges and opportunities in delivering this target. Previous ICE Future Leader, Alex Backhouse, attended the session and captured his thoughts in this blog.

In addition our insight paper explores the role of the infrastructure sector in contributing to the 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions net-zero target, including the range of options for effecting change.

3. Focus on improving the delivery of infrastructure projects and increasing productivity across the built environment sector.

There are a number of technologies and approaches that can be readily adopted across the built environment sector.

These include common sense steps to reduce the gap between forecasts and outturns for major projects, greater use of offsite construction for manufacturing, increasing the use of digital solutions to improve productivity and supporting industry-led efforts to adopt the principles of Project 13.

Government as a major client has a leading role to play in driving these changes. The next one should take a more robust approach to making them happen.

The adoption and delivery of this three-point plan will improve infrastructure provision across the UK and as a consequence drive economic growth, protect our natural environment and improve living standards for all.

Follow ICE’s analysis of the key party manifestos

ICE will be publishing analysis on this blog following the release of the party manifestos over the next couple of weeks; looking closely to see which of the key policy asks that we have developed with members have been adopted.

To get in touch with ICE’s policy and public affairs team, please email us.

  • Chris Richards, director of policy at Institution of Civil Engineers