Crossrail Will Boost London

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

Crossrail Will Boost London


ONCE the Conservatives are in power, not to invest in the capital's transport systems -- including Crossrail -- would be economically perverse. Central government badly needs the huge ongoing tax revenues that London, especially financial and business services, contributes to fund public services for the whole country.

Anyone who lives in, works in or visits the capital knows that the Tube (even in the current downturn) is barely coping with one billion passenger journeys annually. Business decisions to stay or expand in London are being made at least partly on the promise of the new capacity which Crossrail and Tube investment will bring.

Which other government investment opportunity of [pounds sterling]5.6 billion will secure another [pounds sterling]10 billion (from the Mayor and London business) and will be repaid many times over by the tax revenues it unlocks? Failure to invest would be to wound the golden goose. John Dickie, director of policy and strategy, London First.

IN THE next decade there will be an unprecedented squeeze on public expenditure which is likely to be disproportionately concentrated on infrastructure projects. London needs substantially more spent on its transport system, but Crossrail -- whose Seventies conception reflects yesterday's requirements rather than today's or tomorrow's -- is not what we need. Engineers and politicians are too attracted to grand projects rather than piecemeal improvements. …

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