Last edited 27 Sep 2016

National Infrastructure Commission call for evidence

On 5 October 2015, Chancellor George Osborne announced the creation of a National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to provide an unbiased analysis of the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs, delivering a long-term plan for, and assessment of, national infrastructure needs early in each parliament.

On 13 November 2015, during a two-day fact-finding visit to the north of England, Andrew Adonis, interim Chair of the NIC, launched a Call for Evidence, focusing on three of the UK’s most critical infrastructure challenges:

  • Northern Connectivity: particularly identifying priorities for future investment in the north’s strategic transport infrastructure to improve connectivity between cities, especially east-west across the Pennines.
  • London’s Transport System: particularly reviewing strategic options for future investment in large scale transport improvements – on road, rail and underground – including Crossrail 2.
  • Energy: reviewing how the UK can better balance supply and demand.

Interested parties, including; industry, local and regional government, NGOs and the wider public, were invited to make submissions.

The call for evidence closed on 8th January 2016. NIC suggested it would publish a report before the 2016 Budget and that the government would be obliged to respond to its recommendations, either accepting them or setting out how the government will develop alternatives.

Lord Adonis said: “I am delighted that the Call for Evidence is being launched in the north of England. We have seen great steps forward in the north’s infrastructure, including Airport City in Manchester and the new deep water port in Liverpool. This Call for Evidence will support the Commission to make the infrastructure of the north greater still.”

David Brown, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said: “Building on the work which has already been done to develop a northern transport strategy, we will be submitting a strong case to Lord Adonis’ commission for pan-northern, transformational investment in transport infrastructure."

In March 2016, the NIC published three reports:

  • 'Transport for a world city' in which it suggested Crossrail 2 should be taken forward as a priority, funded to develop the scheme fully with the aim of submitting a hybrid bill by autumn 2019. This would enable Crossrail 2 to open in 2033.
  • 'Smart Power' which set out a plan to ensure supply and demand are balanced as efficiently as possible in the energy system.
  • 'High Speed North', a plan to transform the connectivity of the Northern cities.

A government response to the three reports was published in April 2016.

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