Mayor Boris Johnson announces huge London infrastructure plans
- 1st August 2014
- Business & Economy
A huge new plan to improve London’s infrastructure has been put out to consultation by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
It’s no surprise that London continues to grow – as the centre of some of the UK’s key industries it attracts people from around the country and all over the world who come to visit, live and work. But that expansion has to be supported by the right infrastructure, and the Mayor of London clearly believes that the capital could start to lag behind its global peers without huge investment.
That’s why the Mayor of London’s office has published an ambitious and huge new infrastructure action plan for consultation, which would see £1.3 trillion invested over the next 35 years.
The plan would support a projected population of 11 million people by 2050 with the transport, energy, education, housing and airport facilities that they need.
It would be overseen by a specially established delivery board, which would even feature representatives from some of the biggest contractors.
The plan covers everything from extending Tube services and approving further Crossrail services to an additional four-runway London airport, to sit in the Thames estuary to the east of the capital. A system would be developed to rate the connectivity of different properties to assess and improve broadband services, and a massive shift towards reusing and recycling resources would mean much less waste across the city.
Mayor Boris Johnson certainly believes these plans will be necessary to keep up with the impact of population growth.
“Without a long term plan for investment and the political will to implement it this city will falter,” he said. “Londoners need to know they will get the homes, water, energy, schools, transport, digital connectivity and better quality of life that they expect.”
But others have urged a note of caution. PwC partner Ray Mills, a specialist in capital projects and infrastructure investment, said that these specific proposals will need to be considered carefully. They come with plenty of challenges, he explains – not least the issue of financing them.
“It’s clear there is a large gap between the cost of what’s required and the funds available,” he adds. “Some of the solutions in the plan – prioritisation, integration and better asset management – can help, but there is no getting away from the plain fact that whether through greater fiscal devolution, access to new tax streams, or more user charging, someone has to pay.”
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