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World class infrastructure for a world city

Reforms are needed to ensure London has the world class infrastructure appropriate to its world city status, according to the report of a year-long expert commission into London’s infrastructure needs launched today.

Chaired by Martin Stanley, Global Head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, the London First Infrastructure Commission examined the challenges the capital faces because of a growing population and workforce, ageing infrastructure and demanding fiscal context, and looked at solutions to planning, delivery and financing for the future.

The report, World class infrastructure for a world city, makes a number of practical recommendations over the short, medium and longer term. Key themes include:

  • improved long-term planning by government, coupled with practical policy frameworks to give the private sector the clarity and certainty it needs to invest in the next generation of energy, water and waste infrastructure.
  • better engagement between utilities and London businesses to provide the standards of service that businesses need, and will pay for, to support its world city status and distinctive concentrations of economic activity.
  • devolving decision-making on public provision of infrastructure to the London level, so that those who rely on London’s transport services can take the decisions on funding and financing, accompanied by reforms to bring greater transparency, accountability and efficiency to the way transport is delivered in London.

Specific recommendations include:

  • improving the resilience and forward planning and provision of London’s electricity network
  • building the cost of road congestion into the ways utilities undertake streetworks
  • linking the current five-year delivery periods for the regulated private utilities with longer term strategic planning statements
  • funding and delivery of major infrastructure programmes like Crossrail, the Tube upgrades and planning now for the next generation of much needed major schemes
  • devolving tax raising powers to the Mayor so he, rather than central government, can lead in meeting London’s infrastructure priorities
  • overhauling public transport providers, particularly the Underground, to improve transparency and accountability and make the Mayor the unambiguous champion of Londoners’ interests

Martin Stanley, Chairman of the Infrastructure Commission, said:

“Reliable, resilient and efficient infrastructure provides the vital underpinning to London’s competitiveness. Recent years have seen considerable investment in renewing and improving vital networks – but more needs to be done. We need better coordination between national government, London government and the providers of London’s infrastructure, to ensure the needs of both consumers and businesses are considered. Our report is not is a wish-list for London but rather a set of practical and considered recommendations for ensuring London has the world class infrastructure demanded of a world city”.


Notes to editors

The expert Commissioners are:

Chair – Martin Stanley, Global Head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Macquarie Group
Terry Hill, Chairman, Global Transport Market, Arup
Nick Pollard, [Chief Executive Officer, Bovis Lend Lease] Ann Bishop, Managing Director, Indepen
Dr. Timothy Stone, Chairman, Global Infrastructure Projects, KPMG
Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman, London First
Prof. Tony Travers, Director, LSE London, London School of Economics

The report draws on evidence submitted by businesses and stakeholders from across the capital following a Call for Evidence in January and widespread consultation with London First members, stakeholders and policymakers.

London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and all of London’s universities. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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