In his October 2018 Budget Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed that the National Infrastructure Commission would be examining the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure.
Services like utilities, transport and telecommunications are becoming increasingly sophisticated and interdependent. While this has enabled efficiency improvements and better delivery, infrastructure systems are now more vulnerable and if disrupted can have a very significant impact on people’s lives.
In this resilience study (the terms of reference for which are here), the National Infrastructure Commission will consider what action government should take to ensure that infrastructure can cope with future changes, disruptions, shocks and accidents.
The Commission will look at how resilience can be assessed and improved, including through better design and application of new technologies. The study will:
- review UK and international knowledge and approaches;
- develop an understanding of public expectations and response to the potential loss of infrastructure services;
- develop a framework to assess the resilience of economic infrastructure systems and the costs and benefits of improvements; and
- undertake ’stress tests’ of sectors, areas and organisations.
The study builds on the Commission’s first National Infrastructure Assessment and will form the basis for resilience to be addressed in future assessments.
The first part of this study is a scoping phase that concluded in September 2019 with the publication of the Resilience Study scoping report. A five-week consultation linked to this scoping report closed on 20 October 2019.
As part of this work the Commission initiated expert reviews of:
- Arup (2019), UK levels of infrastructure service (with technical annex)
- UCL (2019), Questions for resilience assessment
- UCL (2019), Analytical approaches to resilience
- Atkins (2019), Case studies of international approaches to levels of service
- BritainThinks (2019) Research on public views of resilience
It has also undertaken extensive consultation through:
- a call for evidence as part of the scoping consultation, which closed on 1 April 2019
- a scoping workshop held on 10 January 2019
- expert discussions.
The National Infrastructure Commission will publish its final report and recommendations in spring 2020.