Sir John Armitt has pledged to continue to hold the Government to account as the new chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) after replacing Lord Andrew Adonis, who resigned last month.
Previously deputy chairman of the NIC, Sir John was the author of the report that played a big part in its creation – 2013 Armitt Review of long-term infrastructure planning.
He was also chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority between 2007 and 2014 and was previously chief executive of Network Rail. Sir John was also a member of the Davies Commission, which in 2015 recommended expanding Heathrow Airport.
Sir John said: ‘Making the right choices about planning and investing in infrastructure is critical to the UK’s prosperity and quality of life.
‘I want the commission to remain focused on tackling the long-term issues of congestion, capacity and carbon – and to continue to hold the Government to account where decisive action is needed – so we can secure the improvements that companies, communities and families need.’
Last Autumn Lord Adonis called the ‘endless delay’ in confirming plans to expand Heathrow Airport a ‘serious infrastructure failure’. He then resigned in late December, after criticising transport secretary Chris Grayling over the ‘bailout’ of Virgin Trains East Coast.
Marie-Claude Hemming, director of external affairs for the Civil Engineering Contractors Association said: ‘Sir John is ideally placed to lead the National Infrastructure Commission and will bring his unique expertise to the role at a crucial time, when the commission is due to publish its first National Infrastructure Assessment.
‘We look forward to working closely with the commission under Sir John’s leadership, to not only identify the UK’s infrastructure priorities over the long term, but to ensure that our members and the wider supply chain are primed to deliver the world-class projects businesses and communities will rely upon in the coming years.’