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National Infrastructure Strategy is an opportunity to plan properly for the future, says ICE

22 July 2019

Poll shows that long-term infrastructure planning is in the interests of everyone.

National Infrastructure Strategy is an opportunity to plan properly for the future, says ICE

The details government needs to include in its National Infrastructure Strategy to ensure well-delivered future infrastructure have been laid out by ICE.

The latest policy report, What should be in the National Infrastructure Strategy, offers a clear and decisive summary of how government can make the most of this opportunity to produce joined-up and strategic vision for future infrastructure delivery.

With the new prime minister due to be named tomorrow (23 July), ICE is urging the government to renew its focus on infrastructure.

Nick Baveystock, ICE Director General, said: "The government has a rare and important opportunity to produce the first strategy of this kind and ensure that future infrastructure delivery meets the needs of our society.

"The UK needs a national strategy that takes a holistic, evidence-based approach to planning and delivering infrastructure to ensure we deliver the best outcomes. Whoever the new PM is must heed the warning from the public and make creating a National Infrastructure Strategy a top priority."

The National Infrastructure Strategy

The government is due to publish its first-ever National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS) later this year, in the Autumn Budget.

This comes in response to a comprehensive strategy published by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) last year. This National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) analyses the UK's long-term economic infrastructure needs, outlines a strategic vision over the next 30 years and sets out recommendations for how identified needs should be met.

ICE’s report encourages government to accept and adopt all recommendations made in the NIA and demonstrate in detail how each will be delivered.

What good delivery looks like

Drawing on the large body of work done by the Institution over the last three years, this paper sets out a range of recommendations that it urges government to adopt as part of its NIS.

The work it draws on includes the 2016 National Needs Assessment and the State of the Nation series – Devolution, Digital Transformation and Infrastructure Investment.

To be as effective as possible, the National Infrastructure Strategy should:

  1. Adopt the recommendations put forward by the National Infrastructure Assessment in full and demonstrate in detail how each will be delivered
  2. Set out support for new approaches to funding and financing infrastructure, including:
  3. a pay-as-you-go model for England’s strategic road network by 2030
  4. the need for a UK financial institution to provide infrastructure finance in the event that the UK loses access to the European Investment Bank as a consequence of Brexit
  5. Mandate the development of regional infrastructure strategies across England to ensure effective integration of infrastructure planning at multiple geographic scales
  6. a pay-as-you-go model for England’s strategic road network by 2030
  7. Set out support for the principles of Project 13 as a new model to improve the delivery of major infrastructure projects and programmes
  8. Include a robust plan for driving up the use of digital technologies and innovative approaches to infrastructure delivery, including: offsite construction, standardisation and design for manufacture and assembly

Public agrees government has lost its focus

Ensuring a strong plan for infrastructure is not just important for the industry – the British public believes there’s a need as well.

A new online poll of UK adults found 72% agreed that the government isn’t planning for future infrastructure needs, which will lead to problems in the future.

The same poll found that 73% of UK adults felt that politicians aren’t focusing on big domestic issues, such as future infrastructure requirements and housing.

Next steps and how to get involved

ICE believes a long-term strategic approach that enables infrastructure to deliver the best possible outcomes to the economy and society more widely is essential.

Over the next six months, we’ll continue to work with government and industry stakeholders to ensure that the National Infrastructure Strategy is published in the autumn, and provides a strategic approach for the future.

Get involved

If you’re a member with an interest or expertise in this area and are interested in getting involved, through industry conversations or by writing on our Infrastructure Blog, please get in touch.

  • Emma Beer, media relations manager at ICE