Sara Hawthorn 26 June 2014

Government urged to take tough choices to build world-class infrastructure

Future extreme weather events pose a risk to flood, energy and local transport infrastructure according to a new report from the Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE).

In their latest State of the Nation report the ICE claims more needs to be done for the UK to achieve a world class infrastructure marking local transport and flood management as two main concerns and is calling on government to make some tough choices.

Report Chair and ICE Vice President, Keith Clarke CBE, said: 'As the 2013/14 winter floods showed, unplanned interruptions in our networks are costly to society and the economy. They happen because we are trying to run all services at all times, and are deemed unacceptable as the public expect a certain level of service. Government ultimately bears the risk for the resulting impact.

'It is becoming clear that extreme weather events will become more frequent, and it is time that factors such as availability, resilience and the "domino effect" across the networks when one network fails -as we saw recently when our flood defences were overwhelmed and this in turn disrupted transport, energy, water and waste networks - are rooted into the criteria used to make decisions on which projects go ahead so new infrastructure is more ‘future proofed’.

'The onus is on Government to make these choices for public sector infrastructure, and it must also build on its efforts to provide the right regulatory incentives to improve resilience within private sector infrastructure.'

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