Mayor of London Boris Johnson has launched a consultation on a long-term infrastructure plan for London that could cost £1.3tn to 2050.
New Crossrail projects, an underground ring road and a four-runway hub airport in the Thames estuary are among the infrastructure projects the draft London Infrastructure Plan 2050 says are necessary.
It says Crossrail 2 must be approved and that a series of new river crossings are needed to allow the capital to continue to operate efficiently and successfully.
The mayor also calls for a short-term investment of £210m on electricity substations and the formulation of a long-term plan to use energy more efficiently.
Arup estimated that the total investment in London’s infrastructure between 2016 and 2050 could amount to £1.3tn.
“This plan is a real wake-up call to the stark needs that face London over the next half century”
Boris Johnson, mayor of London
Greater fiscal devolution of locally raised taxes to cities is among the proposals for funding London’s infrastructure needs.
Speaking to Construction News at the launch of the consultation on the plan, Mr Johnson said: “When people listen to me talking about infrastructure for London, I hope they won’t think, ‘Oh that’s just London wanting more of a slice of the pie’.
“That’s not true. What we think is [that] this is the best way to increase the overall slice of the pie.”
He added: “What we’re saying is, if you give all the big cities in England the security of financing that comes through fiscal devolution, then they will be able to plan the infrastructure that they need.
“We’re joined in that by all the other core cities in the UK.”
The London Infrastructure Plan 2050 is the first attempt to set out the full range of infrastructure requirements for the capital over the next 36 years, during which time the population of London is expected to increase by 37 per cent to more than 11m people.
“Without a long-term plan for investment and the political will to implement it, this city will falter”
Boris Johnson, mayor of London
The mayor will establish a London Infrastructure Delivery Board with senior representatives from major infrastructure providers in the capital to consult on the draft plan.
He said: “This plan is a real wake-up call to the stark needs that face London over the next half century.
“Infrastructure underpins everything we do and we all use it every day. Without a long-term plan for investment and the political will to implement it, this city will falter.
“Londoners need to know they will get the homes, water, energy, schools, transport, digital connectivity and better quality of life that they expect.”
The draft plan also outlines the need for 50,000 new homes to be built each year, and for 600 new schools to be built by 2050 to keep up with population growth.
It calls for energy providers to develop plans to supply a quarter of London’s energy from local sources and exploit the capital’s waste heat resource, and for Thames Water to develop 25-year plans for wastewater, drainage and flood risk management.
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.
Bam Nuttall chief executive Steve Fox said it would “give confidence to major infrastructure contractors such as Bam in setting our future business strategy”.
He added: “It means we can invest in people, training and our local supply chains across the capital to support the mayor’s London vision in the longer term.”
London First director of strategy John Dickie said: “We must prioritise ruthlessly and plan and deliver these investments efficiently; but we can’t shrink from the fact that we will all have to pay more.
“The costs can be shared across users, taxpayers and others who benefit directly – but they cannot be wished away.”
Reaction to London Infrastructure Plan 2050
Atkins chief executive for UK & Europe David Tonkin:
“London plays a key role in the economic prosperity of the UK.
“World-class transport, utilities, energy and digital infrastructure are vital to maintaining this position and this long-term, cross-sector investment plan is the vehicle that will help deliver these.
“We applaud the GLA and the mayor for taking this step to develop innovative and integrated proposals to repurpose and re-use existing infrastructure, while adopting and applying new technologies and techniques.”
Bam Nuttall chief executive Steve Fox:
“We are encouraged by the visible commitment made by the mayor and the GLA to improving London’s infrastructure.
“It’s a strong signal to the industry and it gives confidence to major infrastructure contractors such as Bam in setting our future business strategy.
“It means we can invest in people, training and our local supply chains across the capital to support the mayor’s London vision in the longer term.
“We fully support the introduction of a London Infrastructure Delivery Board that will be able to influence and assist industry and the GLA by providing expert knowledge and advice.
Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner:
“Our industry has long argued that long-term visibility of workload is essential if we are to play our part in delivering world-class infrastructure in an efficient and timely manner.
“An infrastructure plan for London which has cross-party support will encourage innovation, better resource allocation, an improved skills base and a more stable workforce throughout the construction sector.”
Arup director Alexander Jan:
“Infrastructure investment activity will be required on an industrial scale not seen since Victorian times.
“Only a concerted, properly resourced plan combined with proper devolution of tax raising powers to London government can secure the commercial success of London.
“This approach is essential to maintain the quality of life for Londoners now and into the future. Arup is delighted to be working with the GLA on this prestigious project.”
London First director of strategy John Dickie:
“The mayor estimates we have to more than double London’s infrastructure spending – from an annual average of £16bn in 2011-15 to £38bn in 2016-50 – if London is to tackle the backlog of historic under-investment and keep up in the global race.
“We must prioritise ruthlessly and plan and deliver these investments efficiently; but we can’t shrink from the fact that we will all have to pay more.
“The costs can be shared across users, taxpayers and others who benefit directly – but they cannot be wished away.