Once a parliament the NIC will publish a National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA). The NIA will analyse the UK’s long-term economic infrastructure needs, outline a strategic vision over the next 30 years and set out recommendations for how identified needs should be met.
The Commission is developing the NIA in two key stages:
Vision and Priorities
The first stage of the NIA process will be to determine a ‘vision’ of the UK up to 2050, to identify long-term infrastructure needs in light of that vision and to highlight priority areas for action over the medium-term. This report was published on 13 October 2017.
A National Infrastructure Assessment
The Commission will consult widely on the Vision and Priorities report to inform its final conclusions on the UK’s infrastructure needs and priorities to 2050. The National Infrastructure Assessment will be published in 2018, containing recommendations for how the identified infrastructure needs and priorities should be addressed. Government will be required to formally respond to the recommendations made.
The Comission will develop a NIA in line with its objectives:
- Support sustainable economic growth across all regions of the UK;
- Improve competitiveness; and
- Improve quality of life.
In developing an NIA the Commission will be:
- Open, transparent, engaging with a wide range of stakeholders;
- Independent, evidence-based, objective and rigorous;
- Forward looking, challenging established thinking;
- Comprehensive, taking a whole system approach, understanding and studying interdependencies and feedbacks.
The NIA will look across transport, energy, water and sewerage, flood risk, digital communications and waste, and consider the potential interactions between its infrastructure recommendations and housing supply.
The NIA will not focus directly on ‘social’ infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals or prisons which are outside the remit that the Commission has been given by the Government.
In developing the NIA, the Commission will consider the demand and supply of infrastructure services, such as journeys or communication, as well as infrastructure assets, such as roads or fibre optic cables. This will allow the NIA to consider approaches, such as smart metering or peak time charging, that enable more effective use to be made of existing assets, as well as the case for new assets.
The NIA will assess the infrastructure system as a whole. It will look across sectors, identifying and exploring the most important interdependencies and resilience implications, showing both the opportunities and risks associated with the interactions between different sectors. The Commission will also look at cross-cutting issues which affect the delivery of infrastructure including governance, sustainability, funding and financing, costs, resilience, performance measurement and project appraisal methodology.