In October 2018 the government asked the National Infrastructure Commission to examine the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure, in response to the growing challenges of climate change, population growth and an increasing reliance on digital technologies.
This scoping report presented the Commission’s initial work on resilience. It suggested that more could be done to ensure the UK’s economic infrastructure is resilient, both now and in future. As well as the absence of a holistic view of resilience, it founds there are also a number of cross cutting resilience challenges which require significant changes to the current approach to address them. These gaps formed the Commission’s focus in the next phase of the study.
In support of this, three key questions framed the Commission’s work:
- What are the systemic issues that make infrastructure vulnerable to current shocks and future changes and how could they be addressed?
- What does the public expect of infrastructure services and how should their views be considered in decisions about resilience?
- What changes to governance and decision making could improve current levels of resilience and ensure future challenges are addressed?
Analysis of these questions would enable the Commission to make both policy recommendations on resilience, where near term changes are needed, and to develop a framework for identifying and addressing resilience issues now and in the future.
The call for evidence lasted four weeks, closing on 18 October 2019. The Commission received submissions from 24 organisations, including operators, industry groups, consumer groups, local government, academia and consulting groups. All non-confidential responses are published as an annex to the final report Anticipate, React, Recover: Resilience infrastructure systems. The evidence gathered was used to support the Commission’s analysis and conclusions.
The scoping paper resulted from an initial scoping phase including a consultation which looked at current evidence and approaches to resilience. A summary of the responses to the Resilience Study scoping consultation is available here. The full list of consultation responses is available here.