INVESTMENT in Crossrail and Tube upgrades are worth £78bn to the UK economy, the London Assembly’s transport and economic development committees have argued in a letter to chancellor George Osborne.
The committees urged Osborne to protect Crossrail and Tube upgrade work from the austerity cuts, warning to do so would be a “false economy” for London and the rest of the UK.
“These are major strategic transport projects which are crucial to delivering much needed improvements to London’s transport system and ensuring its long-term economic prosperity,” they wrote. “In turn, they have the potential to generate wider benefits for the whole UK economy.”
Crossrail is expected to contribute at least £36bn to national GDP over the next 60 years, while the Assembly committees said one estimate put the potential government earnings from the project at £22bn over 10 years through extra tax take, increased property levies and fare profits.
Passengers use the Tube for over a billion journeys per year, they said, meaning it is crucial to invest in the network to ensure London remains an attractive place to live and work.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been vocal in his efforts to persuade Prime Minister David Cameron of the importance of maintaining investment in London’s transport.