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HS2 board member Lord Adonis to spearhead independent rail infrastructure commission

Non-executive HS2 Ltd board member, Lord Adonis, will spearhead a new government commission to decide on future rail infrastructure investments – including the proposed HS3 scheme.

The National Infrastructure Commission will be tasked with identifying ways to speed up British infrastructure spanning road, rail, housing and energy projects – but HS3 is set to top its priority list, forming part of future large-scale investment in rail connections between northern cities.

Lord Adonis, former Labour transport secretary and credited by many with being the original driving force behind HS2, will lead the commission in drawing up a blueprint for British projects. He will also look into how London’s rail capacity can be boosted to cope with its growing population through a Crossrail 2 north-south link.

Commenting on his appointment, Lord Adonis said: “Without big improvements to its transport and energy systems, Britain will grind to a half. I am pleased to accept the chancellor’s invitation to establish the National Infrastructure Commission as an independent body able to advise government and parliament on priorities.

“Major infrastructure projects like Crossrail and building major new power stations span governments and parliaments. I hope it will be possible to forge a wide measure of agreement, across society and politics, on key infrastructure requirements for the next 20 to 30 years, and the assessment which have underpinned them.”

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce the new body today (5 October) during the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, where he will clarify that the body will “calmly and dispassionately decide what the country needs to build for its future and hold any government’s feet to the fire if it fails to deliver”.

The government will pay Lord Adonis to advise ministers and report back to Whitehall “regularly” on gaps in the UK’s infrastructure.

The commission’s responsibility of drafting a plan to “transform the connectivity of the northern cities and advise on the next large-scale investment in London’s transport” will also be met with a fresh £5bn increase in infrastructure spending until 2020.


John   06/10/2015 at 12:19

Wait a minute; is this yet another quango job for one of the "chosen few"?? No wonder we never get any straight answers as to where the budget is going!!

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