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Call for Chicago-style infrastructure trust in London

London skyline

Civil engineers have called for a Chicago-style infrastructure investment fund for London.

The Institution of Civil Engineers’ London branch said a trust should be set up to help find cash for civils projects in the capital.

A report by London mayor Boris Johnson in 2014 set out more than £1trn of potential infrastructure investment. This plan included Crossrail 2, an orbital road tunnel and a now unlikely airport in the Thames Estuary.

The Chicago Infrastructure Trust was created in April 2012 to provide “alternative financing and project delivery options for transformative infrastructure projects”. It structures innovative financing strategies in a bid to attract capital from investors.

ICE London director Suzanne Moroney said: “The Infrastructure Trust set up by the mayor of Chicago, which issues bonds for the private sector to invest in, has paid for a $12M (£8.4M) energy retrofit scheme for 60 buildings and is earmarked to fund a high speed rail link to O’Hare Airport. We must learn from and seek to replicate success stories like this.”

ICE also suggested control over vehicle taxes be devolved to the Greater London Authority to be spent on road maintenance; and a review be carried out of road user charges in London, to see if further charging zones or tolls should be brought in.

“We would like to see a review of road user charging conducted by the next mayor to assess whether new charging zones or tolls are required, and how any future schemes could increase revenue for future transport projects,” said Moroney.

London’s mayoral elections will be held on 5 May this year.

ICE London’s 10 recommendations for London’s next mayor and London Assembly

  • Commit to the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 and set out a clear prioritisation strategy within six months of entering City Hall
  • Support the government’s final decision on the 2015 Airports Commission Report
  • Create a Regional Forum for authorities from London and the South East to discuss key infrastructure issues
  • Develop a London Resilience Plan 2050 mapping out how the capital will adapt to long term climate changes and environmental disasters
  • Improve energy efficiency and increase local energy generation
  • Expand STEM in the London Curriculum and the London Schools Excellence Fund
  • Launch a skills campaign to increase the number of qualified civil engineers in London
  • Focus Transport for London’s investment to unlock areas for housing, jobs and investment in the capital
  • Harness different funding and finance methods to pay for London’s infrastructure
  • Review road user charges with the revenue generated directed to infrastructure improvements

 

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