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The Infrastructure Bill makes provision for the Government’s proposals to fund, plan, manage and maintain the UK’s national infrastructure. It includes a diverse range of measures, including replacement of the Highways Agency with strategic highways companies; provision for the control of invasive non-native species; reform of planning law and provision for nationally significant infrastructure projects; and for a community electricity right. As introduced to the House of Lords, however, the Bill does not include measures which had been widely speculated upon prior to its publication pertaining to hydraulic fracturing or fracking, and to zero carbon homes.

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    There are 4,500 miles of overhead electricity transmission lines in England and Wales. This contrasts with just over 900 miles of underground cables. ‘Undergrounding’, the replacement of overhead cables with underground cables, is used in limited circumstances, such as in nationally designated landscapes. There have been calls for an increase in undergrounding. However, the government has pointed to several issues, including the higher cost of underground cables.

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