Radical Change required in Order to meet London’s Infrastructure Needs

A new report from the Greater London Authority (GLA) has today revealed the capital’s strategic infrastructure investment requirements to 2050.  

Working with expert help from Arup, the new report titled ‘London Infrastructure Plan 2050 – A Consultation’, examines seven sectors - from transport, waste and energy to open spaces and broadband - and spells out the infrastructure needs of London over the next thirty-five years to cope with a growing population.

Housing and transport between them represent nearly four fifths of the investment needed to 2050.  Between them they are estimated to have a funding gap of close to £135 billion.

The infrastructure plan envisages the construction of 49,000 new homes a year plus an 80 per cent increase in rail capacity along with measures to tackle the energy, digital connectivity and ‘green’ needs of the city.  With an increasing school age population more than 600 new schools and colleges will need to be provided.

In calling for investment in London’s environmental assets including space for walking and cycling as well as recreation and sustainable waste and water management, the report recognises London’s attractiveness as a place to live is crucial to its economic success.

Arup was appointed by GLA to provide an expert assessment of projects, costs and technical issues and to help identify what could be done to close the funding gap.

“The Mayor has today launched consultation on an unprecedented policy response aimed at meeting the needs of London’s population, which is growing at a rate of two-thousand people every eight days. Investment activity will be needed on an industrial scale not seen since Victorian times. But it is not all about tunnels, railways and power transmission. Cleaner air, natural flood protection and places for Londoners to walk and cycle are central to the city’s quality of life and urban sustainability. And a major increase in housing provision would address one of the most pressing needs of Londoners,” Alexander Jan, project director, Arup, said.

A key initiative noted in the report is devolving powers from Whitehall so that the Mayor and London boroughs can take greater control of local taxes and have a much greater say in investing in the city’s infrastructure.

“Our analysis suggests there is a compelling case for London government to have far greater influence and control over investment in the city. Only a concerted, properly resourced plan combined with proper devolution of tax raising powers can secure the success of London. This approach is essential to maintaining the quality of life for Londoners now and into the future. Arup is delighted to be working with the GLA on this prestigious project,” Alexander Jan explained.

A consultation on the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 will run for three months and the Mayor is expected to publish a final report in early 2015.

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