Next mayor will need to bank on private sector to fund London's needed infrastructure boom, warns Institution of Civil Engineers

Hayley Kirton
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General Views Of The London Skyline
If it worked for Chicago, maybe it could work for London too (Source: Getty)

An industry body for engineers has today called on the mayoral candidates to try out a private-sector focused funding platform that has been successful in the US to help fund London's much needed infrastructure boom.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has warned that the next Mayor of London will have to do something "radical and innovative" to raise the £1.3 trillion necessary to support the city's infrastructure growth until 2050 and suggests that setting up an Infrastructure Trust might be the way forward.

An Infrastructure Trust set up by the Mayor of Chicago, which was established in 2012 and issues bonds to interested private sector investors, has funded a $12m (£8.4m) energy retrofit project for the city and will also be used to help pay for a new high speed rail link.

"Tackling the core challenges of population growth and climate change, and retaining London’s position as a leading global city, requires long term commitment to its infrastructure," said Suzanne Moroney, director of ICE London. "But this comes at a cost and £1.3 trillion over the next 35 years is a significant and challenging target."

Read more: The Tube carried more people than the population of Wales

ICE has also suggested that control over vehicle taxes should be devolved to the Greater London Authority (GLA) so that the money collected can be reinvested back into road maintenance and that road charges across the capital are reassessed to establish any zones where tolls may be beneficial and what rate they should be set at.

Research released last month by consultancy Atkins, in partnership with Oxford Economics and the Centre for London, suggested that GLA's estimates for the capital's headcount by 2050 fell short of what the figure was likely to be by 0.7m and warned that the city would require "major improvement" if it was going to meet the demands of the growing population.

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