ondon's continued success relies on good public transport and excellent links are crucial to a high quality of life in the capital. The plan clearly outlines the need for investment – the capital will need to cater for an additional five million trips on public transport in 2041.
While we would love to see more transport infrastructure across the city, with limited funds investment will need to be strategic and smart, building new where necessary while upgrading existing assets where possible. However, the Plan is light on detail as to how these additional trips will be met and, for example, there is scant mention of Crossrail 2. A more rigorous analysis would help to make the case for additional investment from central government and buy-in from local communities.
Funding is mentioned in the proposal for a Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy 2, which we support, but we’d like to see this and other levies, go further with any funds raised ringfenced for future infrastructure.
Technological advances are set to disrupt transport in the medium to long term. Autonomous vehicles, ride sharing, electric cars will change the way we move around urban areas and itsdisappointing to see the plan has omitted policies in this area. Furthermore, while there is a commitment to work with the freight industry, there is currently no detail on what this means in practice.
Data also has a less glamourous role to play for planning and we argue that developers should share more data to help London’s planners optimise transport links and predict future demand.
In his response to the London Plan, our chief executive highlighted the need for central government to green-light Crossrail 2. A crucial project, it will open up much of the South West, North and North East to new development and improve the quality of life for those living along the line in places like Tooting or Hackney who will gain massively from increased connectivity. We see Crossrail 2 as the key to unlocking the capital’s future potential. Yet there is little serious analysis in the Plan of how close London is to securing a funding deal from central government for Crossrail 2.
This situation reveals just how dependent London’s future is on central government. Without additional revenue raising powers, the capital remains at the mercy of national funding priorities and party politics. While it’s true that a city the size and significance of London should not be making decisions in isolation, neither should the major decisions on the future of the city’s infrastructure and subsequent development be dependent on a myriad of external factors either.