Mayor makes infrastructure call

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called for a major increase in infrastructure spending across the UK in the aftermath of Brexit.

Sadiq Khan’s call came as he met 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 put forward his view 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, and 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. In other words, it should not come down to a decision between Crossrail 2 and HS3.

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, High Speed 3, Crossrail 2 and increased investment in broadband and 5g mobile.

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. 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.”

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