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30/07/2014

Mayor outlines plans for London infrastructure

London

A raft of proposals including new river crossings, an inner orbital road tunnel and more green space are included in the draft London Infrastructure Plan, launched for consultation by Mayor Boris Johnson today.

The plan attempts to set out the infrastructure requirements for the capital until 2050, when the population is predicted to be 37% higher, at 11 million.

The plan says that Tube services need to be extended and more Crossrail projects are needed, as well as a four runway hub airport in the Thames Estuary.

An extra 9000ha of accessible green space providing more space for walking and cycling, flood mitigation, improved air quality, enhanced biodiversity and a cooler urban environment, is also called for.

The plan also outlines measures to improve broadband connectivity, energy efficiency, water management and waste management.

The plan says that if London’s population increases as forecast, demand for public transport will increase by 50%, electricity demand will more than double, and demand for water will exceed supply.

More than 600 schools and colleges are needed, along with around 50,000 new homes a year, it says.

The Mayor is ruling out building on the green belt saying that the large amounts of brownfield land in the capital should accommodate its growth until at least 2025.

“This plan is a real wake up call to the stark needs that face London over the next half century,” said Johnson. “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.”

The cost of delivering and maintaining the required infrastructure outlined in the plan is estimated to be up to £1.3 trillion by consultants Arup. The Greater London Authority said that part of the purpose of the consultation is to agree priorities for investment and examine how to reduce costs.

The plan also argues for fiscal devolution to give the capital greater financial control over delivering the infrastructure it needs.

The consultation on the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 will run for three months and the Mayor is expected to publish a final report in early 2015.

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