Tuesday 17th March 2015
Jo Hooper, Press & Media Relations Manager
T: +44 (0)20 7203 1897
M: +44 (0)7827 241528
LCCI welcomes Transport Select Committee recommendations on east London river crossings
Commenting on the publication of a report by the House of Commons Transport Select Committee on Strategic River Crossings, Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said:
"We welcome the recommendation of the Transport Select Committee to set up a special purpose company to oversee and drive forward the delivery of new strategic river crossings in east London.
"Local political squabbles have long held up progress on this much-needed area of development and strong leadership would help to bridge the divide and create political consensus.
"One issue that has not been addressed, which we believe will help to enable London to strategically plan for its' burgeoning population is the way in which transport infrastructure is financed in the capital.
"Paris's transport authority has a secured stream of finance up to 2030, this is not the case in London. If further power over tax and spend in London were devolved to the Mayor, we would be much better placed to plan and deliver transport upgrades and would not need to go cap in hand to HM Treasury for funding for each new project."
Speaking in front of the Committee on Monday 12th January as part of the enquiry into strategic river crossings in East London, Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said:
"A package of new fixed crossings East of Tower Bridge is critical to stimulate employment and business growth, boost land values and accelerate housing developments to support London's growing population.
"However, despite a clear need, no new river crossings have been built for more than half a century because political differences have stopped a consensus being reached between regional and local government on what is needed. This has fundamentally held back the development of East London.
"Critical to enabling more strategic transport decisions to be taken locally is local control of funding streams. We have long called for London to keep revenues raised through property taxes* to enable London government to be able to raise revenue to finance strategic infrastructure projects in the city.
"In order to realise the potential economic benefits of new river crossings in London, they must be strategic and planned to cater to potential future need. Crossings must not be simply planned to ease capacity on an over-congested network. If London had greater financial self-sufficiency and ability to act independently, it would be better equipped to plan ahead for major critical infrastructure projects."
NOTES TO EDITOR:
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
Colin Stanbridge is available for further comment and interview.
* Property taxes to include: Council tax, business rates and SDLT