Implications for policy
- Target house building in those places where demand is highest (as revealed by housing affordability figures), rather than setting broad targets for the country as a whole.
- Follow through on the commitment to fund Crossrail II to help continue to improve London’s transport network.
- Give TfL style powers to other transport bodies in city regions with a mayor to enable them to better manage and invest in the transport systems within their cities.
- Put a spatial plan in place that understands and reflects the roles that different parts of a local economy play. This will need to set out where new housing and office space will be provided, with the aim of providing sufficient supply of new property where it is required to help manage the increases in costs resulting from strong demand. Doing this allows housing and transport policy to be integrated so that new infrastructure can be planned to open up new housing sites where they are needed.
- Learning from London, consider the introduction of congestion charging or road user charging to help manage demand for limited road space. Any proceeds from such a scheme should be used to reinvest in public transport to help link workers to jobs.
- Where air pollution is a particular problem, introduce a low emissions zone to tax the use of high-emissions vehicles.
Paul Swinney, Principal Economist at Centre for Cities
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