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Armitt launches ICE-led infrastructure priorities group

The ICE has united with leading business people, academics and industrialists to produce a “National Needs Assessment” for infrastructure. Incoming ICE President, Sir John Armitt, announced the initiative at his inaugural address last week.

The assessment will feed into the work of the government’s National Infrastructure Commission.

Armitt is chairing the coalition as ICE President, and as the NIC Commissioner responsible for gathering and examining evidence on the UK’s long term needs.

“I am pleased to see cross party support for a National Infrastructure Commission, and to be part of something I have advocated and believe in.” he told industry leaders and politicians.

“The effects of achieving consensus cannot be overstated - it could enable the kind of infrastructure revolution not seen since our great forebears in the 19th Century.

“Civil engineers, working with other professions, have a responsibility to ensure the Commission’s choices are based on independent, expert evidence and it is with great pride that I can announce this partnership with leading individuals and organisations,” he said.

“We will begin work on an independent, evidence based needs assessment. We will harness the group’s expertise to help the Commission develop a shared long term vision to 2050, and ultimately help to inform the many complex choices ahead.

“The ICE and its members - particularly when working with other bodies - can be a powerful voice for infrastructure and I hope to demonstrate this further, as we work with the Commission throughout my Presidential year.”

The National Needs Assessment will be published in autumn 2016. It will draw from data, analysis, open consultations and evidence hearings, and set out what Britain is likely to need from its infrastructure up to 2050. It will consider factors like climate change, population growth and technological “game changers”.

It will then set out different options for meeting those needs - including managing assets differently and developing new infrastructure - and how factors such as affordability and environment obligations can be accounted for. The needs assessment will be designed to inform both national and regional infrastructure plans.

Organisations and individuals joining the coalition include employers body the CBI, management consultants KPMG, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, law firm Pinsent Masons, independent consultant and former Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton, National Grid, business group London First, Green Alliance, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

National Infrastructure Commission chairman Lord Adonis, welcomed the initiative. “Thinking more long term about the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects is at the heart of our plans for the new Commission,” he said.

“That’s why it’s great news that Sir John Armitt is bringing his huge experience to our team, and his work with the ICE is set to be a real asset to help fulfil our goal to ensure Britain has the world-class infrastructure it needs in the future.”

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