The Government's Spending Review for 2015 will be published in November; it will act as a summary of how money will be invested in public services whilst making the £20 billion savings necessary to eliminate the country's deficit by 2019/20. We at CTU urge the Government to protect TfL's budget, maintaining funding reserved for Crossrail 2 construction and the upgrade of Camden Underground station.
First of all, we look to the potential impact of robust transport infrastructure on cities in general. Productivity increases when cities cluster together, and this is facilitated by an effective and connected transport system that is ever-improving, ready to adjust to a growing population. The effects of a prosperous city can be felt by regions up to 185 miles away, according to the OECD. The Government aims to see increased productivity across the all UK regions; in which case, the Spending Review should not be allowed to effect infrastructure budgets.
The argument for Camden Underground station
The most basic argument for the upgrade of Camden Town Underground station is that it is used by more passengers than it can currently handle. 28 million passengers pass through the barriers every year - it causes congestion, dangerous overcrowding, and means at the weekend the station is regularly 'exit only'.
The Borough of Camden is making an increased contribution to the wider UK economy - its 24,000 businesses inject £20 billion in to the economy, and generate 275,000 jobs. Plus, it has recently been put on the map as a hub for startup companies with the help of initatives such as Collective. The startup sector is predicted to contribute £20 billion to the economy by 2020. Unless the planned infrastructure improvements go ahead, Camden could find it very difficult to compete for the businesses of startups against other candidate areas in London; our member businesses, startup companies and visitors cannot afford a delay.
Prevent the delay to Crossrail 2
In July 2015, I signed a letter to the Times urging the government to press ahead with the construction of Crossrail 2, highlighting the many benefits it could have on Camden and London as a whole. The Crossrail station in Camden would boost the existing design and media cluster, attracting further more multinational companies from the creative industries. It would also provide an essential alleviation of the pressure caused by the inevitable influx of passengers using HS2 at Euston station.
London's population is expanding faster than residential housing can accommodate for; an additional 9 residents every hour and an estimated population of 10 million by 2030. Crossrail would increase connectivity to suburban areas on the periphery of the city, creating the capacity for an extra 270,000 people to travel in to central London during peak hours. Crossrail would not only facilitate greater growth and economic health, but also offers one potential solution to the urgent housing crisis.
What we want to see is an equal level of support for TfL funding as set out in the 2013 Spending Round. Delaying the construction of Crossrail and potentially scrapping the upgrade of Camden Town Underground station could had far-reaching detrimental effects - on both the existing business community, and the startup cluster that currently holds so much potential for the area.