London must prioritise sustainable infrastructure investment, says ICE

London mayor candidates must prioritise sustainable infrastructure investment and continue to invest in the capital's energy, waste, water and transport systems in order to remain globally competitive.

That is according to the engineering body the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), which has issued the call in its new infrastructure manifesto, released today (February 23) and ahead of the mayoral elections on May 3.

In ‘A Manifesto for London’s Infrastructure’, ICE states that “sustainable and fit for purpose infrastructure is necessary to fulfil the long term social, economic and environmental potential of the capital”.

The manifesto looks at specific policy areas, including energy, waste and resource, water and flood risk management and suggests how London can deal with increased demand.

It also advises how London’s infrastructure can be maintained within current budget constraints, as well as reducing carbon emissions.

Despite tighter public purse strings, ICE argues that London offers “compelling opportunities” for private investment as a result of its strong economy and long term growth trajectory, but warns continued investment is “crucial” to maintain this growth.

ICE London regional director Miranda Housden, said: “London’s size, density and economic performance puts acute pressures on its transport, energy, waste and water systems, but also presents unique opportunities for funding its improvement. To maintain its status as a global hub for business and tourism, continued public investment in London’s infrastructure is crucial; however this must be complemented by action to attract private finance.

“Although we recognise central Government must ultimately take the lead on this, City Hall also has a role to play in facilitating more joined up thinking and collaboration between the relevant public and private bodies. This is not just for the benefit of industry and London’s economy, but for the benefit of society as a whole.”

Carys Matthews

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