The Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has called for additional funding and powers to be devolved outside London in order to transform public transport in urban areas.
Sir John Armitt has written an article in Business Green, which highlights the growing importance of securing the UK’s infrastructure in the face of the growing climate emergency.
In his article, Sir John describes the climate emergency as “our biggest challenge,” and says it places demands on overhauling our systems to not only reach net-zero as the government has committed to, but to “protect families and businesses from increasingly frequent extreme weather.”
He points to the Commission’s own National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA); published in July 2018, the Assessment made a number of recommendations that would help the UK achieve a low carbon energy future.
It looks at the next three decades, setting out recommendations on a number of sectors including energy, recycling, water, flood management and digital connectivity.
But transport is also a focus and Sir John believes proposals included should be a priority for the government.
The NIC want to see significant investment in public transport outside of London, as well as a “truly national” charging network in order to facilitate the move by businesses and other motorists towards greener vehicles.
He said: “By 2030, half of our power should come from renewable sources, as part of a transition to a highly renewable energy mix.
“Progress is needed in assessing the viability of clean alternatives to natural gas, to determine a solution to how we’re going to decarbonise heat by the mid-2020s.
“We’re calling for an additional £43 billion and further powers to be devolved to cities outside London, to transform public transport in urban areas.
“And we need a truly national, visible charging network for electric vehicles to encourage drivers to switch from petrol and diesel.”