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London First launches Connectivity Commission

Business leaders in London are expressing growing alarm at the lack of a comprehensive strategy to secure London’s infrastructure links to the rest of the UK and the wider world. Without a credible plan, in the short, medium and long term, London’s ability to support the UK’s competitiveness while reaching growing international markets will be undermined.

In response to these concerns, London First has launched a Commission to examine the capacity, quality and resilience of the transport infrastructure that connects London to the rest of the UK and the constraints they face.

Demand for the capital’s infrastructure – rail, road and air – has seen, and is set to see, significant growth in demand. The panel of business leaders will reassess what transport links London needs in order to compete with other world cities, pursue rising international markets, and support the UK’s economic growth.

A Call for Evidence has been issued, inviting written submissions from businesses, policy makers and experts. The Commission will offer policy recommendations to Government and others to tackle constraints and secure investment in the short, medium and long-term.

Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“London’s ability to attract talent and investment from around the world depends on the free-flowing, frequent and predictable movement of people to and from the capital. But major infrastructure renewal in the UK is all too often the subject of sterile political debate. If London is to compete and succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, more needs to be done. The Connectivity Commission will gather the views of business and experts and set out its view of a national transport strategy that will truly meet the needs of business in London, as well as the UK’s long-term aspirations for economic growth.”

The deadline for submissions from interested parties is 10 June 2011.

Ends

Notes to editors

1.The Call for Evidence sets out some initial thoughts and a number of specific questions to help stimulate responses from businesses, policy makers and experts. Closing date: 10 June 2011.

2. The Commissioners are:

Chair: Peter Robinson – Chairman and Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner

Peter Damesick – EMEA Chief Economist, CB Richard Ellis
Chris Elliott – Managing Director & Head of Infrastructure Investing, London, Barclays Capital
Sir Adrian Montague – Chairman, 3i, Anglian Water and London First
Ruby Parmar – Senior Partner, PwC
Mike Redican – Managing Director, Deutsche Bank
Francis Salway – Group Chief Executive, Land Securities
Andy Street – Managing Director, John Lewis
John Vincent – Director, Strategic Planning & Advisory, Global Transportation, AECOM

3. London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

4. London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and all of London’s universities. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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