First National Infrastructure Assessment released

Thinking green

The recommendations made by the National Infrastructure Commission feature ideas of a national network of charging points for electric cars, and funding towards new railway projects, namely Crossrail 2 in London and Northern Powerhouse Rail. The latter will aim to connect many major cities in northern England.

>See also: Electric vehicles open new avenues for smart cities

This funding is planned to total up to £43 billion, and is expected to be given out from 2021 to 2040.

Elsewhere in the report, it is recommended that renewable electricity technologies such as wind and solar power compete in order to attempt to increase the proportion of renewable energy from 30% to 50% by the year 2030.

Cooperation is needed

The assessment implores the government to work with councils, and for city leaders to guide the process of growth within their respective constituencies.

The government is required to respond to the plans, according to the assessment, which began with a consultation back in May.

In reference to the plan, the Head of Business Environment at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Jane Gratton, has urged politicians to take action in regards to investment in infrastructure, an aspect that she said the private sector “has an important role to play” in.

“Business will welcome this long-term plan for infrastructure investment, and particularly the focus on digital and transport connectivity, but business communities have seen plans come and go before, so it’s action that’s required above all else,” Gratton said.

>See also: Are there the required skills to capitalise on the digital rail industry?

“We need politicians of all parties, and at a local and national level, to get behind these recommendations, give certainty and confidence to investors and bring about faster infrastructure delivery on the ground to fix the fundamentals of the domestic business environment.”

Effects and Outputs

Furthermore, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, Nelson Ogunshakin, referred to the release of the assessment’s content as “great news”.

“It allows us to have strategic oversight of the project pipeline and ensures government is kept to account,” Ogunshakin explained.

“Perhaps most importantly, it enables us to understand infrastructure in terms of effects and outputs – what these projects collectively mean in terms of delivering energy and tackling flooding in the face of climate change, enabling the growth of our cities, and ensuring our digital and transport networks are fit-for-the-future.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.