Mayor calls for major increase in UK infrastructure investment
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today call for a major increase in infrastructure spending across the UK in the aftermath of Brexit.
Sadiq Khan’s call will come as he meets Lord Andrew Adonis, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission – the body that provides the government with impartial, expert advice on major long-term infrastructure challenges.
The Mayor will outline to Lord Adonis his view that infrastructure investment should not be seen as a ‘zero-sum game’, where one region of the UK loses out to another. He will say that all parts of the UK will need to see an increase in transport and infrastructure investment from the government in order to support future growth and job creation as Britain exits the European Union.
Earlier this Summer, the National Infrastructure Commission published a list of the 12 key infrastructure decisions that need to be taken for projects to go ahead across the country, including the next stages of High Speed 2 which will connect Birmingham, Crewe, Manchester and Leeds, High Speed 3 linking the major northern cities, Crossrail 2 and increased investment in broadband and 5g mobile.
Sadiq welcomes this UK-wide approach to new infrastructure schemes and will today advise Lord Adonis that more investment is needed to support jobs over the coming years.
Sadiq is supporting infrastructure provision in other regions by ensuring that Transport for London works closely with cities across the country to share best practice and develop innovative solutions to the common challenges, from poor air quality to congestion.
This includes assisting Transport for West Midlands with the development of their customer information platform, providing support and advice to Transport for Greater Manchester on technical aspects of bus franchising and contact centre operations and peer-reviewing Transport for the North’s proposals for smart-ticketing across the north.
In July, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling outlined his support for Crossrail 2 and the Mayor is now working with Government to find a way to deliver it that is affordable for both London and the rest of the country.
Crossrail 2 would be a new rail link across the South East region and would increase the capital’s rail capacity by 10 per cent– adding capacity for 270,000 passengers during the morning peak – cutting journey times, improving connections and accessibility. It would serve stations throughout the South East, linking south west and north east London, as well as Surrey and Hertfordshire, bringing more than 800 stations on the national rail network within just one interchange. It will link into HS2 at Euston, providing much needed onward journeys. Crossrail 2 would also enable up to 200,000 homes to be built.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Sadiq Khan said: “Increasing investment in new infrastructure is essential to supporting new growth and jobs in the decades ahead, particularly as Britain leaves the European Union.
“I will continue to put the case to Government that good quality, modern infrastructure, including new roads, railways and state-of-the-art broadband and mobile connectivity is crucial if this country is to remain a global economic powerhouse.
“London grinding to a halt is not in the nation’s interests, and nor is it in the interests of London that the north of England’s transport network continues to be woefully inadequate.
“We cannot afford for new infrastructure investment in any one region to be seen as a zero-sum game - if Britain’s economy is to succeed we need to see increased investment across the country.
“I will continue to provide any technical or political support I can to other mayors and local authorities across the UK in order to develop infrastructure plans in their areas.”
Notes to editors
In March 2016, the National Infrastructure Commission recommended a funding agreement, through which London contributes more than half the costs of Crossrail 2 and which includes substantial measures to realise the full housing benefits ahead of hybrid bill submission. It also suggested that government should work with TfL and the Mayor to explore new funding options, which could include consideration of further devolution.
Transport for London are also members of the Urban Transport Group, based in Leeds, and have developed relationships with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive through this.
This includes sharing best practice in areas such as technology and data, customer information, rail devolution and transport planning and developing common approaches when appropriate.