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Deputy Mayor calls for investment into London’s infrastructure

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business
Rajesh cropped

London is the greatest city in the world. We lead the way in business, culture, transport and entertainment; a truly global city that is open and united.

But London is not a city without challenges. With the population poised to reach 10 million by the middle of the next decade, investment in housing and infrastructure has never been more important.

That’s why we need delivery of the long-anticipated Crossrail 2. It would not only transform transport capacity and connectivity for underdeveloped areas of the capital, but also give housebuilders the certainty they need to accelerate the development of up to 200,000 new homes, to help address the housing shortage across London and the South East.

As a city, London has already committed to meeting half the cost of the project, but we can’t do it alone. Around 40 per cent of transport benefits and 30 per cent of new housing fall outside London – the government must do what’s right for the whole country and step up and give Crossrail 2 its full backing

It’s clear the business community agrees, with more than 70 leaders calling on the government to back it. Earlier this month councils from across London and the South East also joined together to pledge their support. More than 60 leading figures from homebuilding, property industries and housing associations have also written to the government, urging it to firmly back Crossrail 2 and provide a boost in tackling London’s housing crisis.

As well as easing the burden on London’s transport and housing stock, Crossrail 2 will boost our economy by up to £150 billion. It will create 60,000 new supply-chain jobs across the UK, including 18,000 apprenticeships that will give British youngsters the skills they need to succeed and provide the much-needed pipeline to retain the specialist construction, tunnelling and engineering skills we have developed in London and nationwide.

It’s plain to see that Crossrail 2 will go quite some way to meeting the housing and infrastructure needs of future generations of Londoners.

As Deputy Mayor for Business, I speak to businesses both large and small in our great city. From the discussions I have had it is very clear that businesses feel investment in key infrastructure is vital to jobs, growth and prosperity. Business leaders understand that giving Crossrail 2 the green light will bring hundreds of thousands of jobs and housing and transport benefits right across the South East, as well as boosting the economy in all corners of the country.

This is plain and simple good sense. If the government drags its heels, it won’t only be London missing out on growth and regeneration, but an entire nation.

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