The lack of co-ordination between the bodies responsible for infrastructure makes it very difficult to form a long-term plan for projects in the capital, an interim report from the Greater London Authority has said.
The progress report on the development of a long-term infrastructure plan to 2050 for London found there was no one person or organisation which co-ordinated bodies including Transport for London, Network Rail, energy and water suppliers, and private waste collectors working for London’s councils.
The lack of co-ordination led to inefficient actions, such as a stretch of road being dug up several times by different utility companies, the report said.
Similarly, it said the current regulatory system did not allow electricity firms to invest ahead of a request for a connection, which the report said appeared to hold back development.
It said these problems were nationwide but particularly affected London as a growing capital city.
The report said: “It is clear from our analysis and from stakeholder input that the incentives provided in the regulated utility markets are not working effectively for London.
“There are strong tensions between different, if desirable, objectives, including between existing downward pressure on consumer prices and the investment required to maintain, renew and enhance systems; and between the pressing need to reduce demand for natural resources and the lack of incentives for private companies to play a role in reducing demand for their product.”
It also said that bidding to central government for funding on a project-by-project basis made integrated infrastructure planning difficult.
Giving London’s mayor and councils greater control over the taxes paid by Londoners would provide income to borrow against to raise money for new infrastructure and would enable it to be provided in a more timely way, the report recommended.
A consultation on the 2050 infrastructure plan will be published in the summer and the plan will be put out in the autumn.
It will assess London’s infrastructure requirements and the funding options to pay for the projects.