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Invest in roads, says London’s deputy mayor

A renaissance in highway infrastructure investment will be key to boosting London’s public and private transport capacity to meet the expected growth in demand, according to deputy mayor for transport Isabel Dedring.

Describing the capital’s road network as the “less-loved younger sibling” compared with the hugely financially supported rail network, she highlighted that years of under investment needed to be reversed.

“The volume of investment that has gone into the road network is many orders of magnitude smaller than the capital investment put in to the railway,” she said. “Yet roads carry 80% of the trips in London.”

Dedring said that part of the problem had been that investment in roads was too often seen as investment in private motorists and promoting congestion rather than to improve bus services and provide a safer cycling and pedestrian environment

She added that the mayor’s recently announced strategic review of the London road network will attempt to identify and unlock the potential of the capital’s roads, to offer greater safety and efficiency, and reduce congestion.

Dedring also highlighted the need to squeeze more capacity out of the existing rail and underground infrastructure in preparation for an expected 1.1M increase in London’s population by 2031.

However, she also said that, while mega projects such as Crossrail were a vital addition to capacity, she would be putting greater emphasis on helping smaller but just as beneficial projects gain traction across the capital.

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