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London's spatial economy: the dynamics of change

Hall, P; Edwards, M; Robson, D; (1999) London's spatial economy: the dynamics of change. London Development Partnership/ Royal Town Planning Institute (London Branch): London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This 1999 report was commissioned by the London Development Partnership, a body set up to prepare the ground for the Greater London Authority (GLA). It contains the first written proposal for Orbirail, then known as Ringrail and now implemented as the circular element in the Overground - completed on 9 December 2012. That idea had been proposed the previous year in talks by Prof Sir Peter Hall and Drummond Robson at the TCPA to which Michael Edwards contributed. The project was taken up by Nicky Gavron (of LPAC, from 2000 Deputy Mayor of London) and found its way into the London Plan following discussions with DR and Lord Rogers. 1. Infrastructure 1.1 The major likely infrastructure proposals concentrate on improving public transport access in Central London and the corridors east and west of it. 1.2 There is scope to provide significant Inner London improvements largely using existing corridors at lower cost and more quickly than wholly new routes: notably “Ringrail”. This will give rise to interchange and other development opportunities and improve orbital services in Inner London. (There is thus scope for improving public transport access between suburban areas where car-dependence is such a problem). 1.3 A reduced-cost version of Crossrail is possible and should be considered. 1.4 There are few planned road improvements; key ones are likely to be removal of bottlenecks on the primary network, such as the North Circular Road. If these can be designed to favour public transport they could transform accessibility between outer suburbs as the ring rail could closer in. 2. Employment 2.1 Locational choices for employment are excessively restricted or prescribed under current policy which has not kept pace with business practice. 2.2 London’s labour force is highly diverse with a rich range of skills and people are increasingly mobile between jobs. 2.3 Home to work distances have increased as the result of these two forces to the disbenefit of the economy, environment and citizens. 3. Town Centres 3.1 Town centre growth has polarised towards the central and outer areas of London in the last decade or so with declines in the Inner London area where space is short and access deficient. 3.2 The development of retail employment away from Town and Managed Centres is almost entirely of poor quality sheds in a low grade environment, and entirely car dependent. 3.3 PPG6 policies should restrict further Out of Town Centre growth in and around London. Within the framework of these policies there is scope – and an urgent need – to innovate ways which will give centres and local shops a new lease of life and reduce Londoners’ needs to travel.

Type:Report
Title:London's spatial economy: the dynamics of change
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Keywords:Orbirail, ringrail, London Overground, polycentric, orbital
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Planning

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