Infrastructure Commission needs real support from ChancellorOctober 30, 2015
The Chancellor, George Osborne, has launched the National Infrastructure Commission, an independent body set up to look a long-term infrastructure needs and provide impartial advice.
Lord Adonis, the former Labour transport secretary who has worked extensively with London First, is to be installed as chair.
In the build up to November’s spending review, Mr Osborne has also pledged £100bn of infrastructure spending by 2020.
Welcoming the launch of the Commission, David Leam, Infrastructure Director at London First said:
“With the population in London rising by 100,000 a year, it’s vital that the capital continues to upgrade its infrastructure. The Infrastructure Commission can play a vital role in confirming priority projects for the coming decade, starting with Crossrail 2.
“But unless the Chancellor now agrees a good long-term spending deal for London transport in his forthcoming spending review, then the Commission will be hobbled from the start.”
“However, the real test of the Chancellor’s resolve is the coming decision on airports expansion. If government fails to commit to implementing the Airports Commission’s report then the new infrastructure commissioners would be right to ask whether their advice will actually be followed.”
London First’s Crossrail 2 task force was chaired by Lord Adonis. The resulting report, Crossrail 2: Supporting London’s Growth, says that without good transport links there is a risk that London will stall in the future just as surely as it did in the 1970s and 1980s when there was a failure to invest adequately.
Lord Adonis, writing in the Financial Times, has outlined who will be joining him as members of the Commission:
- Demis Hassabis, founder and chief exec of DeepMind
- Sir John Armitt, former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority
- Lord Heseltine, former deputy prime minister
Before next year’s Budget the Commission will publish on three national challenges –
- Improving connectivity between cities in the north of England
- Sustaining investment in London’s transport infrastructure once current projects are complete
- Energy: make sure we continue to match demand and supply without installing excessive capacity