NIC calls for statutory resilience framework

28/05/2020
Dominic Browne

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has called for a new statutory resilience framework, maintained and observed by regulators and contractors with new powers and responsibilities.

In a new report, it calls on Government to introduce a statutory requirement by 2022 for secretaries of state to publish 'clear, proportionate and realistic standards every five years for the resilience of energy, water, digital, road and rail services'.

In the road sector, it highlights that Highways England uses a journey reliability indicator as part of its performance measures, however, 'there is no specified target'.

'Without a target, measuring progress is not transparent and it is difficult to evaluate whether journeys are as reliable as expected.'

This is largely true, although Highways England does have KPIs that cover this area including making sure on 'average delay' the performance is 'no worse at the end of RP2 than it was at the end of RP1' and that it must achieve 97.5% lane availability in 2020-21.

Highways England is working on 'a new expanded metric with a target based on baselining work undertaken during 2020-21' and in partnership with Transport Focus investigating new metrics for journey time reliability.

The NIC also says that by 2023, following a national assessment of operators and their markets, regulators should be given new powers to enforce the standards.

By 2024, regulators should require a system of regular stress testing for energy, water, digital, road and rail infrastructure operators, which they would be obliged to participate in and forced to take remedial action if they failed.

Energy, water, digital, road and rail infrastructure operators should also be obliged by the regulators to produce long-term strategies to ensure infrastructure services can continue to meet resilience standards (where there is no current requirement).

The report identifies six key aspects of resilience: anticipate, resist, absorb, recover, adapt and transform, and suggests the framework would help improve the approach to each of these.

Overall aims include delivering a framework that better anticipates future shocks and stresses by facing up to uncomfortable truths, values resilience properly, and drives adaptation before it is too late.

Taking a more 'Black Swan' approach to accounting for the impact of extreme events, the Commission warns that the UK’s resilience may be challenged in future by a range of factors that will not always be possible to foresee, alongside better understood challenges like climate change.

The evidence base used in the study was undertaken before the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the report notes that it is too early to fully assess and learn lessons from the ongoing crisis.

However, Sir John Armitt, chair of the commission, suggested the study could 'inform thinking about the recovery and help ensure that we can be resilient to future challenges'.

'The Commission pays tribute to all those who are helping to minimise the impact to infrastructure during this period, often at significant personal risk,' he said.

'To safeguard the systems our communities rely on, everyone involved in running infrastructure needs to anticipate and prepare for potential future challenges. The framework proposed in our report offers the tools to face uncomfortable truths, value resilience properly, test for vulnerabilities and drive adaptation before it is too late.'

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Inside

  • The £2.5bn Surrey partnering contract
  • The politics of protest
  • Stoke's roadworks league
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Demand Responsive Transport Officer

£32,234 pa - £34,728 pa
The role sits within the Integrated Transport Unit. Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Neighbourhood Highways Officers (Western Team)

£28,672 - £32,234 per annum
We are seeking to recruit two Neighbourhood Highways Officers, to be based in Okehampton. Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Street Care Operative

Grade 3 - Starting at £18,657 per annum, rising to £19,905
The Council’s Street Care service is responsible for the cleanliness of the whole borough and undertake a range of street cleaning and street care ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Shopmobility & Public Convenience Attendant

Grade 3 - Starting at £18,657 per annum, pro rata rising to £19,905
We are looking for an individual who works well in a small team to deliver an excellent level of service at our flagship Market Road Public Conveni... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Waste Collection Operative - HGV Driver/Loader

Grade 5 - Starting at £23,403 per annum, rising to £25,791
If you enjoy working outside and would like to make a positive contribution to the collection of both waste and recycling in the Borough, this coul... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Director of Climate Emergency & Behavioural Change

£95,000 to £109,000 per annum
At Waltham Forest we are developing an ambitious, transformative agenda to tackle the global Climate Emergency. Waltham Forest, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Waltham Forest

Street Works and Permitting Manager

£44,863 - £51,817
Are you a qualified highways engineer who wants to make a difference to the efficient running of the highway network within Lincolnshire? Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Warehouse Assistant/Driver

£20,903 - £24,491 per annum
An opportunity has arisen for the recruitment of a Warehouse Assistant / Driver. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Highways Officer

£27,741 to £30,451
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? Brompton, Northallerton
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Officer

£27,741 to £30,451
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Bus Support Officer

£24,086
We are looking for people to work as part of our exciting new bus team! Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Environmental Health/Environmental Protection Officer - Noise

£41,607.00 - £44,598.00
This post attracts an essential car user allowance. The post holder is able to take part in the Council's flexible working scheme. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Greenspace & Environment Enforcement Officer

£20,092 - £24,491
You will work as part of a team undertaking environmental enforcement activities which focus on improving the street environment Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Cleaning Operative

Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum, pro rota.
Chelmsford City Council are seeking a self-motivated, experienced and customer-focused Cleaning Operative to join our cleaning team. You will provi... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Quantity Surveyor - Highways Contracts & Commissioning (multiple posts)

£27,741 - £29,577
In return, the Council offers a variety of benefits including Local Government Pension Scheme, flexible working and an opportunity to be... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Performance & Assurance Manager - Highways Contracts & Commissioning

£38,447 - £41,412
The post holder will provide professional contract performance management and compliance support to... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Construction Cost Manager - Highways Contracts & Commissioning

£43,597 - £46,875
With exciting new developments and high profile projects underway and in the pipeline for many years to come, working with... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Programme Manager - Project Delivery

£43,597 - £46,875
The role requires a Programme Manager who understands the range of... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Team Leader - Programme Management Officer

£49,268 - £53,170
The post holder will be a technically competent leader with excellent organisational and communication skills to... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Project Officer - Project Delivery (multiple roles)

£27,741 - £29,577
The role requires skills, knowledge and understanding of project management and facilitating stakeholder groups, being able to... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video