New Coalition Launches National Needs Assessment For UK Infrastructure

A National Infrastructure Commission has been set up to provide analysis on the long-term future needs of infrastructure in the UK to ensure that agreements are reached so that vital projects are brought to fruition, whether that be concrete repairs, bearing replacements or something else.

The coalition will be chaired by Sir John Armitt, president of the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), with other groups such as the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Thames Water, Transport for Greater Manchester, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Green Alliance, KPMG, Pinsent Masons, the Centre for Business and Innovation, and the ICE also all involved.

The needs assessment itself will take into account factors like population growth and climate change, as well as the different ways in which the UK’s needs can be met and looking at public acceptability, affordability and environmental obligations.

Sir John said: “Effective infrastructure drives growth, supports job creation and creates thriving, sustainable societies. But infrastructure is expensive, can be disruptive during construction, and requires fine political judgement so resources are best used to meet the country’s needs.”

This comes after the National Audit Office (NAO) said that more than a third of major government infrastructure projects are either in doubt or are undeliverable. Unrealistic expectations regarding such projects mean that those in charge run the risk of missing key targets.

The NAO study revealed that 37 out of 106 projects expected to be completed in the next five years are either in doubt or unachievable. As such, it would seem that this new coalition is of the utmost necessity moving forward.