Boris Johnson has been warned that there can be no all-party consensus for a major programme of road and bridge building in the capital.
On Wednesday Mayor Johnson unveiled a draft infrastructure plan which pulls together previously announced proposals for Crossrail 2, a new Thames crossing at Silvertown and an inner London orbital road tunnel.
Mr Johnson said the scale of such projects meant they would inevitably span Mayoralties, making it essential that they enjoyed the same “political consensus” as the London 2012 Olympics.
He commented: “Because the infrastructure planning cycle inevitably spans elections, infrastructure can fall victim to political attack – and long-term plans are less convincing when they can be easily rejected by political opponents.”
Green party politicians on the London Assembly said they would be unwilling to support the building of new roads and bridges and accused the Mayor of “pushing for the kind of road-building projects which belong back in the car-dominated 1960s.”
Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: “The Mayor is completely deluded if he thinks he will be able to create consensus around the hugely polluting, disruptive and expensive road-building schemes he is proposing.”
The Mayor’s draft plans received a more positive response from the Assembly’s Labour group which welcomed a number of the proposals, including setting up an Infrastructure Delivery Board to bring together key development partners.
However group leader, Len Duvall AM, suggested the Mayor’s own record undercut his “lofty rhetoric.”
Mr Duvall said: “The plan cites the need for East-London river crossings, six years after he scrapped shovel-ready plans for one, and despite a cacophony of expert opposition, he continues to splurge taxpayer money lobbying for a Thames Estuary airport.
“For all his vision, Boris is in danger of stepping down in 2016 leaving behind a legacy of expensive vanity projects, rather than the world class infrastructure we’re crying out for.”
Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Assembly group, said: “Looking ahead to 2050 and scaling up the challenges facing London’s infrastructure makes real sense”.
However she said the Mayor “needs to focus far less on vanity projects as he has in the past, and instead concentrate entirely on increasing capacity on London’s already overcrowded transport network.”
“Increasing London’s bus fleet and making sure the Bakerloo Line extension become a reality should be two of his top priorities.”
A consultation on the Mayor’s London Infrastructure Plan 2050 is available at london.gov.uk.