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ICE urges UK government to stick to National Infrastructure Strategy

04 November 2022

Key infrastructure projects are an investment not a cost, says ICE policy director.

ICE urges UK government to stick to National Infrastructure Strategy
The site of Sizewell C is planned to be near existing nuclear plant buildings on the Suffolk coast. Image credit: Shutterstock

The ICE is calling on the UK government to stick to the National Infrastructure Strategy.

It comes as the government announced it is reviewing major infrastructure projects like Sizewell C, HS2, and Northern Powerhouse Rail as part of a cost analysis.

"The National Infrastructure Strategy outlines what the country's infrastructure needs are and prioritises lowering costs over the long term.

"We urge the government to stick to this plan," said ICE policy director Chris Richards.

Richards said that the news of the review was "concerning".

"Public infrastructure projects are critical for economic growth and to meet our levelling up and net zero objectives.

"Rather than thinking about these projects as a cost, we need to think about them as an investment in our future," he said.

We need alternative options

He added: "If the current projects like Sizewell C are not deemed to be viable, we need the government to provide alternative solutions.

"Otherwise, we will not meet our national objectives and people throughout the country will continue to experience the difficulties associated with rising costs and severely strained public systems.

"We need to stop kicking the can down the road on infrastructure programmes, as the result is a £60bn bailout from failing to plan strategically for energy security."

Rather than cutting programmes outright, the government should consider "reprofiling" them to mitigate financial concerns, Richards said.

"Focusing on a few, high-quality projects that will deliver key objectives will deliver better outcomes for the country over the long term than wide-ranging cuts.

"A significant amount of public time and money has already gone into scoping and planning these projects. If they are abandoned, that effort is wasted, along with the skills and talent being developed to bring them to fruition."

The ICE has previously outlined three infrastructure priorities for the UK prime minister.

  • Maggie Eckel, media relations manager at ICE