A new toolkit curated by the National Infrastructure Commission is offering advice to cities on developing local transport infrastructure strategies.
The 'Principles for effective urban infrastructure' guidance seeks to maximise the impact of further devolution of powers and funding to city regions recommended by the Commission, by sharing experience and knowledge between local authorities on how locally developed strategies can be both ambitious and effective.
Working in partnership with local authorities across the country, and in-depth work with five case study cities including Basildon, Derby, Exeter, Liverpool City Region and West Yorkshire, the Commission has drawn together common aspects of successful strategies.
The eight principles include:
- Developing a compelling vision that engages citizens, senior officials and elected members and sets the objectives for their strategy;
- Careful scoping, identifying where policy areas beyond core infrastructure – such as health and wellbeing, inclusion, environment and the economy – can contribute to achieving the aims of the strategy;
- Developing strategies in dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders, including across political parties and professions;
- Gathering strong evidence, assessing available data and identifying gaps;
- Being open to the full range of options available to deliver the strategic aims – including considering maintenance and upgrade;
- Stress testing plans to ensure they are resilient to possible shocks;
- Clear prioritization and a pragmatic approach to what is achievable, building on the options and testing process;
- Building in evaluation from the start of the process – including allocating budgets.
Sir John Armitt, chair of the Commission, said: “We’re pleased to have been able to convene a group of pioneering cities who have been willing to work with the Commission, sharing their successes and their challenges for the benefit of others.
“Our work with colleagues in Basildon, Derby, Exeter, Liverpool City Region and West Yorkshire has helped us draw together valuable lessons on how local strategies can make a positive difference for citizens.”