ICE report: London needs world class infrastructure

10/07/2014
Highways Reporters

The transport network in London “requires attention”, according to a report carried out by the Institution of Civil Engineers London.

London’s flood management, water, and energy networks also need improvement according to ICE’s State of the Nation London “scorecard” report.

Each area was graded as follows:

·         Transport: Grade C+ plus “requires attention” (2010 Grade: C)

·         Flood Management: Grade C “requires attention” (2010 Grade: C)

·         Energy: Grade C- minus “requires attention” (2010 Grade: C)

·         Water: Grade C “requires attention” (2010 Grade: C)

·         Waste: Grade B- minus “adequate for now”(2010 Grade: D)

The leading engineering body has welcomed the progress since 2010 in positioning infrastructure as a core enabler of economic growth and job creation, and acknowledged the boost in civil engineering activity that is visible across the capital.

However the report said more needed to be done if London is to have infrastructure fit for a world class city - particularly on the issues of resilience and capacity given London’s predicted population growth. This was highlighted by the “requires attention” grades given for water, flood management, energy and transport networks.

It called for long term commitment to investment in the capital’s infrastructure so it is equipped for the challenges ahead and for London’s politicians to provide clear statements on long term strategic direction. It also urged government and City Hall to “act decisively” to deliver new aviation capacity in the south east following the Aviation Commission’s recommendations - to ensure London and the wider UK has global connectivity and competitiveness.

ICE London Director, Miranda Housden, said: “London is a world class city and needs world class infrastructure. There has been notable progress made, some of which is visible across the London skyline. The London 2012 Olympic Games also saw London’s transport at its best - through strong coordination and collaboration between transport providers.

“But it is vital that the capital’s infrastructure is fit for the future. London is the fastest growing region in the UK, with its population forecast to reach 10 million in the 2030s. Our networks must be able to accommodate the growing demands that will be placed on them, and, we need to ensure we position ourselves as major competitors in the global race - maintaining our standing as a world class business hub, cultural centre and tourist destination.

“This requires long term commitment to invest in and improve London’s infrastructure in a sustainable way, and importantly, clear strategic direction backed by supportive policy and regulatory frameworks. Given the lengthy lead in times for delivering new and upgraded infrastructure, concerted action by government and industry is needed now.

Key ICE London recommendations:

1. Remove barriers to cycling through reducing the principal threats to cyclists, particularly: better equipped vehicles (especially HGVs); training for cyclists, HGV bus, coach and construction drivers; and delivery of cycle infrastructure that minimises conflict.

2. Address aviation capacity in the south east to maintain London’s status as a business hub, cultural centre and tourist destination.

3. Continue to develop strategies for the long-term development and decarbonisation of London’s energy supply and use.

4. Create realistic expectations about flood risk by improving community engagement and increasing the use of adaptive natural drainage systems.

5. The Mayor should develop a circular economy roadmap for London setting out the Greater London Authority’s approach to unlocking value from waste.
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