London businesses want to press ahead with major infrastructure projects, like fixed link London river crossings, to keep the city’s economy active.
According to a survey , business leaders want to ward off any sense of stagnation that might fill the gap between the EU referendum and the start of Brexit negotiations, likely next year.
More than four in five London businesses say increased investment in infrastructure is important for the UK economy, according to a new survey by ComRes for London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The poll of more than 500 business leaders found those surveyed agreed that in the current political climate, increased investment in housing and transport was important for the London economy (82% each).
Increased devolution of tax and spending powers to London had the support of 56%.
Chief executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Colin Stanbridge said: “This survey confirms what we have been saying consistently – that we need to act now to safeguard the economy in London and the UK by building now for a growing population.
“Major infrastructure projects such as airport expansion in the South East, Crossrail, the Night Tube and new fixed river crossings for east London will bring employment and in turn more revenues.
“As well as acting with pace to move major planning applications to the next stage, we urge government to take practical steps such as reviewing the status of poor quality land within the greenbelt to free it up for much needed development.
“The Brexit environment cannot be a period of excuses and inaction. It is a time to drive forward and capitalise on what is already a thriving economy.”
The Mayor Of London is currently reviewing his transport strategy, including the plan for east London River Crossings, which he said would be out in the next few weeks.
Investment is the key to unlocking the east
By Janette Withey, chairman of the East London Of Chamber of Commerce (incorporating Docklands Business Club)
Great strides in regeneration have been made in east London in the past decade, helped along, in part, by the Olympics.
But while we have seen a transformed Olympic Park, an updated Stratford town centre and the beginning of great things at Barking Riverside, progress is often painfully slow.
We must remember it is worthwhile and our efforts are being rewarded.
For several years I, and my colleagues at the London Chamber of Commerce, have been saying that at least one east London fixed river crossing is vital for the future success of not only east London but the capital as a whole.
Back in 2012, we found more than half (51%) of businesses in London believed that a new river crossing in east London was important to the future success of the capital.
The following year we called for an additional road bridge at Gallions Reach instead of a proposed ferry which could support another 80,000 new homes. Then in 2015 we welcomed TfL’s consultation into a package of crossings at Silvertown and eagerly anticipate the decision next year.
However even if the go-ahead is given, TfL say the earliest date a Silvertown tunnel can be operational is 2022/23 so we can not put all our eggs in one basket.
We need to continue to call for investment to fund important regeneration schemes in London – like an extension to the London Overground line to Barking Riverside to unlock another 10,000 new homes.
We celebrate the success of regeneration schemes like Kidbrooke Village and, as London’s population expands, we need to make sure east London rises to the challenge.
The Wharf says
End the talking, start the action
On Sunday, the Dartford Crossing (inevitably) seized up. Many decided to use the Blackwall Tunnel instead only to discover a horrible truth – there are no consequence-free hold-ups anywhere in east London.
Congestion turned to gridlock, gridlock turned to crisis, crisis turned to pollution as lines of stationary cars pumped out exhaust fumes as they sat in the sun going nowhere.
A new east London river crossing is a generation too late already. Mayor Boris Johnson set back the problem years when he cancelled the Thames Gateway Bridge. His successor Sadiq Khan simply cannot kick the can further down the road – if only because the road is blocked with traffic.
London is open, declares Mayor Khan. Ask an east London driver if they agree. The answer will be blunt.