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My UK budget response 2016

Nick Roberts | 16 Mar 2016 | Comments

The National Infrastructure Commission was set up to take a long term and objective view of our infrastructure needs. The Chancellor’s agreement to take forward key recommendations such as HS3, the Trans-Pennine tunnel, the expansion of capacity on the M62 and Crossrail 2 shows that the system works. The creation of new and improved infrastructure is the means to the end, not the end itself, so the focus needs to be on delivering these schemes quickly in order to start generating the economic benefits we need now. Particularly in the case of the Northern Powerhouse, government spending on new and improved infrastructure will be vital in attracting much needed funding from other sources and delivering the productivity improvements that the government has set out.

The influence of technology and data is enabling us to be smarter and more efficient in the way we use and deliver infrastructure. I welcome the funding and commitment to our digital economy and to make trials of driverless cars a reality on our roads by 2017, but would have liked to have seen more. I believe we have a real opportunity for the UK to lead the worldwide digital infrastructure revolution but we have to invest more in ensuring our infrastructure can keep up with the pace that technology is developing and evolving.