Following the commitment from President Obama to invest $50bn into US infrastructure and create a National Infrastructure Bank.
Tom Foulkes, Director General, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), said:
"The people of America will be encouraged by the bold commitment to rebuild and develop the country’s roads, rail networks and airport runways along with the recognition that robust and effective infrastructure is vital for future development and economic prosperity.
"The people of the UK need that same promise, after an assessment of UK infrastructure networks by our own country’s civil engineering experts, concluded that our overall infrastructure requires ‘significant attention’ with energy and local transport infrastructure grades as ‘at risk’.
"An estimated £40-50bn per annum will need to be channeled into our infrastructure. While much of this funding must come from the private sector, a mechanism is needed to attract the large volume of private investment required. We are confident the new Government recognises the scale of the challenge and hope this is reflected in the comprehensive spending review and plan for a Green Investment Bank.
"An ambitious and robust funding mechanism – similar to President Obama’s vision for a National Infrastructure Bank – will ensure a predictable stream of funding for the projects that will help boost the UK’s future competitiveness and make the transition to a low carbon economy."
ICE’s recent State of the Nation: Infrastructure 2010 outlined the infrastructure priorities for the new Government, appraising the UK’s existing infrastructure and making recommendations for the future. View report here: http://www.ice.org.uk/Information-resources/Document-Library/State-of-the-NationInfrastructure-2010.
Infrastructure sectors snap shot:
Water and wastewater (B)
Twenty years of regulatory-driven investment means water infrastructure is generally working well. However, major reductions in demand are needed to bring it into line with long-term carbon emissions goals:Recommendations:
Reduce demand, reduce volume that is treated by separating flows, changes to regulatory regime to drive long-term investments.
Strategic transport networks (B)
Generally good condition; however some form of demand management is needed to
managed limited road capacity.
Recommendations: invest in building capacity in rail networks, highways and motorways; road user charging or other form of demand management.
Our entire approach to waste must change. The waste industry should be looking to become suppliers – of fuel, compost, manufacturing materials. It is also
imperative we reduce the waste going to landfill.
Recommendations: develop national resource management infrastructure plan, design waste out at source, improve integration of management of municipal and commercial and industrial waste.
Flood risk management (C)
Current investment in flood risk management must continue however in the long-term our approach must change dramatically
Recommendations: Improve long-term planning, community engagement and increase use of SUDs.
The lack of spare capacity must be urgently addressed, with maximum supply currently very close to peak demand. The sector must also be decarbonised rapidly to ensure the UK meets legally binding carbon emissions targets.
Recommendations: Crucial decisions on renewable energy sources and technologies such as CCS must be made in the next five years, timeline of action including carrying out of existing strategies and NPSs as well as active engagement with industry.
Local transport (D)
Currently there is far too much on dependence private car travel, and local roads are in ‘poor condition’.
Recommendations: Improve local public transport, roads and manage private car demand through alternative modes of transport.