The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has published its Annual Monitoring Report, which assesses the government’s actions against recommendations made.
Since the Commission was established in 2015, it has produced six sector-specific reports, covering 45 recommendations to the government – 42 of which have been accepted.
The Annual Monitoring Report details the progress made on implementing these recommendations.
It has found that 10 recommendations are considered to have been fully met, including the introduction of improved rail connections between Leeds and Manchester.
That being said, the Annual Monitoring Report reveals that progress against the remaining 32 recommendations accepted by the government has been varied, with “significantly increased momentum” required to meet the recommendations set out by the NIC.
The recommendations focus on six key areas, which were the topics of the in-depth studies published by the NIC at the request of the government.
These are: Smart Power; Transport for a World City; High Speed North; Connected Future; Partnering for Prosperity; and Data for the Public Good.
There has been progress in terms of rail transport in the north, with extra funding allocated to deal with the integration of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR); a Northern Powerhouse Strategy will be published by the government this year too.
Network Rail has played its part too, with options submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) on the Transpennine Route Upgrade as part of Control Period 6 (CP6); this will include electrification options across the route of Manchester and Leeds, highlighting the importance of this technology to make journeys more efficient but also cleaner and greener.
But work also needs to be done by the government to satisfy the recommendations made, according to the Annual Monitoring Report.
This includes greater mobile connectivity for rail users.
Plans are being made by the NIC to examine issues even more closely, and the barriers that are preventing progress.
It is hoped this will help the government in the near future.