PwC comment on London Infrastructure Plan - "some of the solutions need careful consideration"

Published at 14:36 PM on 30 July 2014

Commenting on the London Infrastructure Plan released today, Ray Mills, partner, PwC and a specialist in capital projects and infrastructure investment, said:

"London needs effective, efficient and sustainable infrastructure to thrive, be competitive, and remain an engine of sustainable growth for the UK economy.

“While the need for increased capacity and infrastructure investment in general is well recognised, the specific proposals in the consultation plan need careful consideration.

“There are substantial challenges to deliver the infrastructure that is projected to be needed in the paper. In particular, it's clear there is a large gap between the cost of what's required and the funds available. Some of the solutions in the plan - prioritisation, integration and better asset management - can help, but there is no getting away from the plain fact that whether through greater fiscal devolution, access to new tax streams, or more user charging, someone has to pay.

“The question is how much, and where this should come from - the residents and employers that benefit from living and doing business in London; those who visit London for business or pleasure; or those with access to capital who are attracted to London as an 'investor ready' city.

“Any investment in London’s infrastructure needs to happen alongside the strengthening of the UK's other major urban areas, while also ensuring that non-metropolitans are not disadvantaged.”

For more information or further comment, please contact Rowena Mearley, PwC Media Relations, 0207 213 4727.

1. UK Infrastructure Spending – PwC analysis of global capital projects and infrastructure spending to 2025, shows that overall UK spending will increase 51% from £70bn in 2014 to £106bn in 2025, with UK spending growing 3.9% per annum. Transport and Power Generation will be the biggest contributors, in particular in upgraded rail connectivity, and in a new hub-airport (at an as-yet undetermined location) in the South East of England. Power generation investment is expected to rebound from a 40% fall from 2007-2013 to reach $25bn by 2025.
2. PwC Cities Index - London claimed top spot as a centre for business, finance and culture for the first time, inCities of Opportunity -PwC’s sixth annual index of 30 major cities internationally. Against key indicators, London came top for Economic Clout, Technology Readiness, and as a City Gateway. The city came sixth for transport and infrastructure, 17th for sustainability and the natural environment, and 16th for cost.
3. PwC – Demos Good Growth for Cities report (November 2013) found thatLondon was one of the lowest ranking in an index of 39 cities across the UK. The UK’s medium-sized regional cities, including Reading, Aberdeen, Preston, Southampton and Belfast, ranked higher than they would be in tables based on economic size alone. Despite the highest income levels in the country, when measured against the wider range of publicly defined ‘good growth’ criteria such as affordable housing, transport, and working hours, London slipped below the UK overall average for ‘good growth’. In the Index, largest cities favour less well for ‘good growth’ due to challenges with transport congestion, housing affordability, income inequality, and other quality of life indicators.


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