London 2062: The future of London transport

The final London 2062 event, looking at London’s transport future, took place on Monday 23rd April. It followed the same format, with two pairs of speakers, both an academic and a practitioner, followed by questions and discussion.

Ian Lindsay, Director of Land & Property, Crossrail, kicked things off with a run through London’s current major transport infrastructure project. It was a useful reminder of the magnitude of the project: the 28 station upgrade will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London’s business districts.

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Dr Robin Hickman from UCL the Bartlett School of Planning discussed the importance of transport in facing London’s environmental challenges. He introduced the notion of backcasting – a way of working out an appropriate package of measures to be taken now in order to get where we need to be in the future in terms of carbon emissions. The enormous problem underpinning London’s transport future is that the UK’s aviation industry accounts for between 50 and 112% of its carbon budget. If this is not addressed, then the other adaptive measures are futile.

Richard De Cani gave TFL’s perspective, taking us through the raft of transport projects TFL is delivering to secure an optimal transport future for London. He gave the awesome statistic that London is growing such that every five years, an extra one million journeys in and around London are made. TFL manage this through infrastructure investment in London’s opportunity areas and other growth areas.

Finally, Prof Sir Peter Hall shared some of his involvement in London transport over five decades. He suggested some missed opportunities linked to several recent infrastructure projects, such as the London Overground network, and looked to Berlin’s successful city-wide transport system as one we should learn from. He also supported the notion of a Thames Estuary airport to manage London’s airport capacity problems.

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Thanks to all the speakers, and to Chair Prof Brian Collins, UCL. And, as this was the last of the four events, thanks to everyone who contributed to the series. We are now in discussions with UCL on how to do justice to the range of material it has created.

Jo, FoL

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