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TFL's Director of City Planning at 'Infrastructure 2020'

We are delighted that Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at TFL will be speaking at our infrastructure and transport forum on 11th February at Herbert Smith Freehills in London.

Alex's responsibilities include working with the Mayor to develop and deliver the Transport Strategy for London, and developing and gaining powers for major infrastructure projects such as tube extensions and new river crossings. He provides transport advice on Land Use Planning applications referable to the Mayor and manages relationship with London Boroughs. Across all of these it is Alex's role to ensure TfL's planning work is underpinned by a robust evidence base through modelling and analysis.

At our March 2019 planning forum Alex commented on how TfL has been working to integrate the Mayor’s Transport Strategy with the London Plan and the Environment Strategy, and said ‘this kind of integration of a powerful set of three documents just doesn’t exist in other cities across the world’. He added that the big challenge is how will London manage the growth from 27 million trips per day – across buses, trains and tube lines - in the capital now to 33 million per day in 25 years’ time? 'How do we want these trips to be achieved? The Mayor is clear that he wants these to be mostly by sustainable modes, like walking and cycling.'

‘Whereas it used to be a factor that once your kids got to secondary schools you would migrate out, this is happening less and less. Now we are seeing lots of people coming in, especially from Non-EU countries. We will be over 10 million in the 2030s and we will have to improve infrastructure. Increasing capacity on the transport network by 85% over next 25 years is the aim.’

Alex said that the transport strategy is three-pronged: healthy streets which is all about ‘active travel’, a good public transport experience, and supporting homes and jobs. He then added that the Mayor’s air quality programme for London is one of the most radical and far-reaching of any city in the world. The plan for transport, he said, must be linked to good health, and also to a reduction to zero fatalities through pushing for better design of trucks, with fewer people driving in the capital.

Alex was formally appointed to the post of Director of City Planning in April 2017 having held it on an interim basis since April 2016. Before that he was Director of Borough Planning (from 2007). Prior to TfL he worked in LB Camden and LB Ealing.

Detailed public consultations were held in 2019 on extending the Bakerloo line from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham initially and providing a new station at New Cross Gate to provide better connectivity to National Rail, Overground and buses. If the decision is made to go ahead and TfL receives the funding, construction could start in 2023, with the earliest services running from 2029.

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