Mayor of London launches infrastructure plan consultation

Out-Law News | 31 Jul 2014 | 5:02 pm | 1 min. read

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has published a draft London infrastructure plan for consultation, estimating a need for £1.3 trillion of infrastructure investment in the capital by 2050.

The consultation document (93-page / 1.1 MB PDF) estimates that London's population will increase by 37% from 2011 levels by 2050 and outlines a strategy for providing the necessary infrastructure to support over 11 million inhabitants and enable the capital to compete with other world cities.

The draft plan calls for the construction of 50,000 new homes a year and more than 600 new schools, but the mayor ruled out building on Green Belt land due to the availability of sufficient brownfield sites within the city's development boundaries.

A 50% increase in demand for public transport is predicted in the draft plan, with demand for Underground services projected to rise by 60% and rail services by 80%. The plan said that certain Underground lines could increase capacity to 36 trains per hour, and recommended that the Bakerloo line be extended and that the Crossrail 2 proposals be approved.

Other potential transport measures described in the plan include the construction of an inner orbital road tunnel, new river crossings in East London, a South London Metro and a new four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary to the east of the city.

Energy and water demands are predicted by the plan to be at risk of outstripping supply, with recommendations for an initial £210 million investment in electricity substations, a longer term move towards local energy provision and a series of measures to reduce water supply issues including better leakage detection and changes to tariffs.

Other measures proposed in the plan are the delivery of 9,000 hectares of accessible green space, improvements to fibre broadband and mobile internet connectivity and more efficient recycling of materials to reduce waste.

"This plan is a real wake up call to the stark needs that face London over the next half century," said Johnson in a statement. "Infrastructure underpins everything we do and we all use it every day. Without a long term plan for investment and the political will to implement it this city will falter. Londoners need to know they will get the homes, water, energy, schools, transport, digital connectivity and better quality of life that they expect."

Consultation on the draft plan will be open for three months, with a final report expected to be published in early 2015.