The resilience of the UK’s infrastructure will be examined by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).
Designed to consider the action required by the government in order to make sure that infrastructure can cope with the challenges associated with accidents, disruptions and shocks, the study of the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure was announced in the Chancellor’s Budget.
Philip Hammond committed significant funds to improve the UK’s infrastructure, with billions of pounds expected to upgrade our roads; an increase in the Transforming Cities Fund; and extra money for Northern Powerhouse Rail.
In addition, the Chancellor has commissioned the study from the NIC which will look at resilience, how it can be assessed and improved, with options including better design and the application of new technologies.
With transport and other services becoming much more sophisticated, it means infrastructure systems are much more vulnerable and can have a significant impact on businesses and people’s lives if they are disrupted.
Building on the National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) set out in July, the study will review UK and international knowledge and approaches; undertake ‘stress tests’ of sectors, areas and organisations; analyse the resilience of economic infrastructure systems, including the costs and benefits of improvements; and help to develop an understanding of public expectations and response to the potential loss of infrastructure services.
The NIC’s Chairman, Sir John Armitt, explained the importance of the study.
He said: “The nation’s infrastructure is not only critical for our economic success and prosperity, it’s central to each of our daily lives.
“Whether it’s the roads and railways that take us to our destinations, the telecoms that connect us or the energy we use to heat our homes, we all rely on these systems running smoothly.
“Our new study will examine how we can ensure our infrastructure is fit to cope with future changes and challenges, while at the same time capitalising on the opportunities presented by an increasingly digital world.”
The final report and recommendations will be published in spring 2020.