A new report from the Greater London Authority (GLA) has revealed the capital’s strategic infrastructure investment requirements to 2050. Consultancy, Arup has been working closely with the GLA to draw up the £1.3 trillion plan, entitled “London Infrastructure Plan 2050 – A Consultation”.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has just launched the report – representing the start of consultation – in Barking, East London, declaring that its contents were “a real wake-up call to the stark needs that face London over the next half a century”.
With London’s population growing by 2,000 people every eight days, Johnson is concerned that massive investment in infrastructure is needed in order for London to keep its place among the elite of world cities.
The report examines seven sectors from transport, waste and energy to open spaces and broadband, and spells out the infrastructure needs of London over the next thirty-five years to cope with a growing population.
Housing and transport combined represent nearly 80 per cent of the investment needed to 2050. Between them they are estimated to have a funding gap of close to £135 billion.
New rail infrastructure comprises a major element of the plans. Featuring in the proposals are blueprints for a new orbital metro-style railway around London, which according the UK’s Guardian newspaper has been dubbed the “R25” in City Hall.
A series of new river crossings in addition to those already currently planned is also proposed, along with further Crossrail lines.
Alexander Jan, project director at Arup, commented, “Investment activity will be needed on an industrial scale not seen since Victorian times. But it is not all about tunnels, railways and power transmission.
“Cleaner air, natural flood protection and places for Londoners to walk and cycle are central to the city’s quality of life and urban sustainability. And a major increase in housing provision would address one of the most pressing needs of Londoners.”
A consultation on the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 will now run for three months and the Mayor is expected to publish a final report in early 2015.
By Gail Taylor