The ICE this week welcomed infrastructure commitments in the main parties’ General Election manifestos.
But it said the party which forms the next government must develop a longer term vision, and a framework that achieves cross-party consensus
The Institution said the five priority areas which formed part of its Manifesto for Infrastructure had all been addressed in some way by each party, and many specific ICE policy recommendations had been adopted.
It added that each party recognised infrastructure’s role in fostering growth; the need to devolve some power from Westminster; and appeared to grasp the gravity of the UK’s energy situation.
But the Institution also urged the main parties to “take things to the next level” by creating a longer term vision for UK infrastructure.
Despite some concerns about Labour’s proposed National Infrastructure Commission - in particular on the stalling of momentum in the transition to any new system - the ICE said the proposal was well argued and urged other parties to also take a position.
“Since 2010, we have seen great strides forward - not least the publication of our first National Infrastructure Plan.
The benefits of infrastructure investment are established and it has a front row seat in economic plans. It is crucial that we now build on this progress and take things to the next level,” said ICE director general, Nick Baveystock.
“This means developing a longer term, overarching vision for infrastructure - one which unlocks growth in our city-regions, invests in the upkeep of our local roads and flood defences on a longer term basis and “future proofs” our networks.
“Importantly we also need a mechanism that shields the vision from political meddling, and regardless of who holds the keys to Number 10 come 7 May, this is an issue that must be tackled.”
- The ICE has produced detailed analysis on how the recommendations in its Manifesto for Infrastructure have been adopted by each main party. Click here to view.