Crossrail will boost LondonAugust 14, 2009
Let’s not confuse early electioneering with prospective Government policy (Have the Tories turned their backs on the City? 13/8/2009). There are good political reasons for an opposition to resist making firm spending commitments this far away from a general election. But come polling day, Londoners will want clarity over the choice they are making.
Once in power, not to invest in the capital’s transport systems would be economically perverse. UK Government badly needs the huge ongoing tax revenues that London, especially financial and business services, contributes to fund public services for the whole country. Anyone who lives in, works in or visits the capital knows that the Tube (even in the current downturn) is barely coping with one billion passenger journeys annually. Business decisions to stay or expand in London are being made at least partly on the promise of the new capacity which Crossrail and Tube investment will bring. Which other central Government investment opportunity of £5.6bn will secure another £10bn (from the Mayor and London business) and will be repaid many times over by the tax revenues it unlocks? Failure to invest would be to seriously wound the golden goose.
Director of Policy and Strategy
A version of this letter appeared in the Evening Standard on 14th August 2009