Making the capital’s infrastructure case to politicians

Jo Valentine, chief executive, London First

With an election careering towards us - and an inevitable Spending Review thereafter - now is the time for everyone with an interest in the huge infrastructure challenges facing London to direct as much noise as possible towards our elected leaders.

There are plenty of handy stats to support effective noise making. For example, London may have just passed a record population high of 8.6m, but that pales in comparison to the 10m head count we are scheduled to hit by 2036 and the attendant pressures on infrastructure. 

"We are entering a crucial time to make the case and all hands need to man the pumps."

Think travelling round London is tough now? Demand for public transport is set to double by 2050. Think housing is expensive and tough to come by now?

Take a moment to remember that we are only building half the homes we need. 

It’s stats like these that explain why the Mayor’s price tag for prospective infrastructure spending to 2050 has 12 zeros in it. Yup, that’s a nice round trillion pounds.

A Manifesto for London.

Wednesday 25th March 2025

High profile speakers at the London Infrastructure Summit include:   

Lord Andrew Adonis, Shadow Infrastructure Minister 
Steve Allen, Managing Director - Finance, Transport for London
Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, Greater London Authority 
Simon Kirby, Chief Executive, HS2
Andy Mitchell, Chief Executive, Thames Tideway Tunnel
Terry Morgan CBE, Chairman, Crossrail
Tony Travers, Director of LSE London, London School of Economics


A manifesto for London - booking details are found here

For London First’s part, we are doing a number of things that might help you focus the grey matter for the aforementioned clamour.

Firstly, we are bringing together key business leaders, politicians, and senior representatives from the property, investment, construction, transport and public sectors at the London Infrastructure Summit on 25 March 2015.

There we will focus on London’s infrastructure needs from the next government to support continued economic growth. It would be great to see you there and to hear your voice.

Our ‘Manifesto for Jobs and Growth’ sets out what we want the new government, whatever its make-up, to focus on after 7 May.

In our manifesto, we set out our priorities to enable London to continue to compete and thrive, helping drive economic growth not only in the capital but in the country as a whole.

Included are calls to build an additional runway in the South East, step up momentum on Crossrail 2, deliver the Thames Tideway Tunnel, encourage utility regulators to better support growth, and more support to improve digital infrastructure.

The government also needs to provide long-term funding certainty to TfL to support the essential renewal and enhancement of London’s public transport system.

As a minimum the government must reaffirm the core five year capital funding settlement for Transport for London, though further moves to give the capital greater control over local taxes would be welcome.

In housing terms, urgent steps to tackle the housing shortage should include giving the  Mayor power to lead on identifying and disposing of publicly own land that is surplus to requirements, as well as setting hard evidence-based targets.

The fact that the list goes on just shows the scope of the challenges ahead. We are entering a crucial time to make the case and all hands need to man the pumps.