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NIC launches new infrastructure resilience study

Road flood 3x2

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has launched a new consultation to gather views as part of a new study into the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure network.

The new study will examine what actions the government should take to ensure that the UK’s infrastructure can cope with future changes, disruptions, shocks and accidents – from increased risks of flooding due to climate change, to the “ever-increasing dependencies” on digital technologies.

The NIC published its first National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) in July last year, which made a series of recommendations for tackling floods, a digital technology role out to rural communities and encouraging growth of cities.

The NIC said the responses the latest consultation would help inform the development of a new framework to consider resilience across economic infrastructure, which will then be used during development of the next NIA.

NIC chairman Sir John Armitt said: “Whether it’s how we get to work, how we heat and light our homes or how we keep in touch with friends and family, our infrastructure services have become increasingly sophisticated and increasingly interdependent.

“Our latest study will examine how best to ensure that our infrastructure systems are fit for managing shocks or disruptions they might face.

“We want to hear from those across the public and private sectors, and researchers, about the priorities and the questions that the framework we’re developing should seek to address, and the barriers to developing resilient infrastructure that our study should seek to overcome.”

Speaking at the New Civil Engineer flood management forum in November last year, NIC team leader Matt Crossman said that the relocation of at risk communities, such as those in coastal areas, may need to be considered as part of flood protection.

“I think we do need to look really seriously at how we can make these communities sustainable,” Crossman said.

The resilience study consultation will run until 1 April 2019 with the final report due to be published in spring 2020.

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