The Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), Sir John Armitt, has urged the Chancellor to commit to “once-in-a-generation” transformation of the UK’s transport network.
Sir John Armitt has written to Philip Hammond urging him to use this autumn’s Spending Review to not only transform the UK’s transport network, but also the energy and technology networks.
In his letter, Sir John has outlined the four key tests that the NIC will use to judge the credibility of the government’s National Infrastructure Strategy, which is expected to be announced during the Spending Review that is due this autumn.
The four key tests that the National Infrastructure Strategy will have to meet if the ambitious future set out in the NIC’s National Infrastructure Assessment are to be met are: a long term perspective – look beyond the spending review period and set out expectations for infrastructure funding and policy up to 2050.
The other tests include clear goals and plans to achieve expectations; a firm funding commitment; and a genuine commitment to change.
The final test says that recommendations such as the devolution of funding for urban transport to cities are “fundamental” policy changes and the strategy of the government must respond in the same spirit.
Sir John believes the National Infrastructure Strategy will be a “key moment to demonstrate the government’s commitment to an ambitious long term vision for infrastructure, backed by clear and lasting plans and stable funding.”
The NIC believe the National Infrastructure Strategy must meet the four key tests, and Sir John confirmed this will be central to the NIC’s own assessment when the government’s progress is reviewed against recommendations set out in those tests and in the National Infrastructure Assessment.
Sir John added: “The government must not deliver a weak strategy that pays only lip service to our recommendations. We don’t want to hear vague promises and a restatement of existing commitments.”