THE BLOG

Why We Need to Grow London

15/05/2013 12:46 BST | Updated 14/07/2013 10:12 BST
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It is a cliché to say that London's transport system is the lifeblood of the city but like most clichés it has become that way because it's true. From the magnificence of Victorian engineering that is the tube system to the truly wonderful Routemaster which regularly passes by the LCCI office in the city, the transport system is what keeps this city flowing. And when a bit of it breaks, like the Northern Line late last week, it affects thousands and thousands of people costing businesses untold amounts in lost productivity.

London's tubes, buses, trams and some roads are run by Transport for London and a large chunk of the funding comes from central Government. We want to see that funding maintained if not enhanced in the spending review in June.

It is right that the Government should look to create growth in other regions outside London but cutting investment in London and its transport network would be counter-productive. Not only is London the engine driving the UK economy towards recovery but 60% of suppliers to Transport for London are from outside London, in the North and the Midlands. A cut in London's transport budget hurts the UK and hurts growth.

With this is mind there are five projects in particular that the LCCI believe need to be put into place in order to help the capital, and ultimately the country, thrive and grow. They are a new bridge in East London, extension of the Northern Line to Battersea, Piccadilly Line Upgrades, Crossrail 2 and the redevelopment of Euston Station.

The projects represent accessibility, reliability, development, connectivity and progress - all ideas that drive a major world city like London. The will help attract more foreign capital, increased institutional investment into London and encourage more businesses to locate here. All of which will help the UK economy out of the doldrums.

These projects will cost time and money but we believe that in doing so the Government and TfL can send a signal to businesses that they are willing and able to take the big decisions, to put into place the infrastructure the capital needs to drive growth.

The importance of the decision that the Chancellor will take over the next few weeks is the reason we've launched a major campaign to ensure that London gets the funding it needs. The 'Grow London - tell George' campaign is designed to remind those who work in HM Treasury of the critical need to invest in London's transport network.

Over the coming weeks we'll have adverts at major tube stations across London but we need other voices to back our campaign so please visit www.londonchamber.co.uk/growlondon or tweet HM Treasury to tell them that you want to help #growLondon.