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Campaigns General Election

Future-proofing Infrastructure

19 May 2017

If people are the brains of our economy, then infrastructure constitutes the muscles without which business is impossible. Dan Lewis, Senior Adviser - Infrastructure at the IoD outlines the 3 top priorities for upgrading the UK’s infrastructure.

  1. Start planning for the building of two further runways in the South East with a new Airports Commission. It’s quite clear that the growth in air passengers in only going in one direction – up. The International Air Transport Association forecasts a near doubling of global air passengers by 2035. If the UK is going to do more business with the rest of the world, we need more than one more additional runway at Heathrow to reach the world. Two more runways will go some way to increase choice for passengers and allow airlines to choose between two or more airports when deciding where to operate.

  2. Drive forward ultrafast broadband and 4G coverage with a copper network cut-off of 2025.  Members are clear, faster broadband means more jobs, productivity, profit and remote-working. Ultrafast broadband, ideally 1 gigabit per second, that needs fibre optic cable, would be transformational to businesses, mobile and fixed broadband connectivity, and bring a 5G future within reach.

  3. Bring in speed targets for buses and repurpose roads to better suit space-friendly buses. Buses might not be the most glamorous form of transport, but they carry more passengers to work than any other form of public transport.   

In the 21st Century, the new challenge is to make our infrastructure investments smarter and backed by wider public support. In a resource constrained world, this requires an ‘infrastructure best value index’ to score potential projects against each other.

Future-proofing Infrastructure


Dan Lewis, Senior Adviser - Infrastructure Policy

Dan Lewis has been working with the IoD since 2011 on Energy Policy. Since March 2014, his brief has been expanded more broadly to include Infrastructure.

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