More investment needed in UK infrastructure to meet economic and environmental aims says NIC

Wed 18 October 2023 View all news

The UK needs to invest heavily in infrastructure - particularly in energy - to deliver higher economic productivity, environmental objectives and a better quality of life in future according to the National Infrastructure Commission's second report.

The Commission releases its long-term outlook on the state of Britain’s infrastructure alongside the challenges ahead every five years.

Since its 2018 report, the NIC has witnessed the growth in renewable energy, the establishment of the UK Infrastructure Bank, the devolution of transport funding, and the evolution of broadband. The latest report covers transport, energy, water, flood resilience, digital connectivity, and solid waste.

The Commission says there are significant opportunities, including cheaper transport and energy from renewables but says that achieving these potential gains will require policies to reduce upfront costs to allow consumers to access the long term savings. 

The NIC says that investments of about £30bn a year from the taxpayer and £40bn to £50bn a year from the private sector, would result in savings to the average household of at least £1,000 a year, increase economic productivity and provide a better quality of life in the future.

The 222-page report - which took more than two years to compile - includes 46 recommendations. It says that cars and roads alone will not be enough to keep transport moving, and far greater investment in public transport is needed.

Sir John Armitt, NIC Chair, said: “The good news is that modern, reliable infrastructure can support economic growth, help tackle climate change and enhance the natural environment.

“People often talk about infrastructure as the backbone of our economy: what our infrastructure needs now is the collective mettle to turn commitments into action that will reap rewards for decades to come.”


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