Positive reaction to national assessment

July 11 2018  

Positive reaction to national assessment
Transport sector commentators have broadly welcomed publication of the first National Infrastructure Assessment, setting out priorities for the UK until 2050.
Consultant WSP’s managing director of planning and advisory Ian Liddell (pictured) described the National Infrastructure Assessment as offering “an effective blueprint for future infrastructure investment”.
He added that he welcomes the emphasis on good design and decision making to save money, reduce risks, add value, deliver more projects on time and create infrastructure that looks good and works well for everyone.
Civil Engineering Contractors Association external affairs director Marie-Claude Hemming (pictured) said that short termism and a lack of long term strategy have historically undermined the delivery of major infrastructure projects in the UK. Publication of the assessment, she added, should start to address those issues.
“It is vital that Government addresses the recommendations of this report as soon as possible to ensure the UK thrives as a great place to do business, live and work,” Marie-Claude said.
CIHT chief executive Sue Percy said: “We welcome the NIC's support for the guaranteed funding of local roads, which play a vital role in connecting to the strategic road network and help maintain the regional and local businesses which are so critical to the national economy.

“It is encouraging to see that other factors such as design panels, better cost management and new funding strategies are recognised as vital to getting infrastructure right. We would encourage the NIC to also include an assessment of the value of better planning, cycling and walking and how these can contribute to an efficient, growing, low carbon economy.”
Ramboll's director of environment and health Bram Miller commented: “Encouragingly in relation to roads, the assessment places a strong focus on readiness for electric, autonomous and connected vehicles. Hopefully this report and the recommendations it makes can provide the necessary catalyst to rapidly accelerate the conversion of the UK’s vehicle fleet, without which the roads sector cannot make its contribution to carbon reduction targets nor address its air quality impacts.”
Royal Town Planning Institute president John Acres said: “The UK must take better and bolder infrastructure decisions to face the immense challenges and opportunities ahead. We need the ambition and scope the Commission has set, but crucially we need to get delivery right.”
British Chambers of Commerce head of business environment Jane Gratton said: “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.”
She added: “We welcome the focus on upgrading major urban roads and tackling congestion and public transport needs at a city level. This will help to unlock economic growth, improve journey times and reliability, aid access to skills and cut business costs.”

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