ADD2089 London Stansted Cambridge Consortium for West Anglia

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
20 March 2017
Decision by: 
Tim Steer, Assistant Director, Transport, Infrastructure and Digital Connectivity

Executive summary

The West Anglia Taskforce was established by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London in February 2015 to develop an evidence base to support the case for improved rail infrastructure on the West Anglia Main Line. It produced a report in summer 2016 and it has been agreed that the Taskforce will continue to make the case for improved rail provision in 2017. 

The secretariat function for the Taskforce has been conducted by the Greater London Authority since September 2015, but it has been agreed by the Taskforce that the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium will take over this function from January 2017.

Assistant Director’s approval is sought for expenditure of up to £40,000 for the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium to perform the secretariat function for the West Anglia Taskforce over the next year to December 2017.


That the Head of Transport approves the transfer of £40,000 from the GLA transport budget to the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC) to support its performance of the secretariat function for the West Anglia Taskforce in the period up to December 2017.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1.    The West Anglia Taskforce was set up by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London in February 2015 to make the case for investment in the West Anglia Main Line (WAML). The Secretary of State for Transport asked the Rt Hon Sir Alan Haselhurst MP to chair the Taskforce. 

1.2.    Taskforce membership comprised MPs, local government leaders from London, Herts, Essex and Cambridgeshire, the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, business leaders, Transport for London, Network Rail and the Department for Transport. Many of the members were also board members of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC).

1.3.    The Taskforce has now presented its report to government (see with a five point call for action to achieve the following:
•    Cambridge in 60 and Stansted in 40 – Liverpool Street services
•    Improving service levels to other communities along the route to support growth
•    A new timetable by 2020 to take advantage of new, faster and longer trains
•    Four-tracking the railway in the mid-2020s as a precursor to Crossrail 2 opening in 2033
•    Progressing Crossrail 2 ahead of submitting a Hybrid Bill by 2019

1.4.    The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, continues to be supportive of improvements to the West Anglia Main Line, citing in his 2016 Mayoral election manifesto:

Work to make better use of existing capacity, fighting to secure the upgrade of the West Anglian rail line in Network Rail’s next investment period, to improve journeys to Stansted, support housing development in north London and deliver faster journeys to Cambridge

1.5.    The Department for Transport (DfT) asked the Greater London Authority (GLA) to conduct the Secretariat function for the Taskforce which it has done so since September 2015. It has been agreed by the Taskforce that for its next phase of work the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC) will take over this function from January 2017.

1.6.    The LSCC is very well placed to conduct the secretariat function for the West Anglia Taskforce. The LSCC was formed in June 2013 as a strategic partnership of public and private organisations covering the same geographic area as the economic growth corridor (the Corridor) from north London through to Cambridge and Peterborough. 

1.7.    The Consortium brings together public and private sector organisations which have the common aim of seeking economic growth, higher employment rates, providing places for people and business while preserving the quality and character of the Corridor. 

1.8.    The Consortium membership board has agreed three simple objectives:
•    Promote the corridor  – which covers supporting LSCC Members with the development of the narrative for the corridor, promotion and positioning with government, Whitehall, and the investor community
•    Make the case for infrastructure – prioritising and focusing on the key infrastructure requirements which are needed to support growth. This includes London Stansted Airport as one of the key infrastructure components, as well rail, road, digital and utilities
•    Supporting the corridor’s key sectors – identifying growth spaces for expansion, supporting labour mobility, and encouraging skills development

1.9.    In response to the recent report prepared by the LSCC Growth Commission, the Consortium has agreed a vision for the Corridor:

“For the Corridor to become one of the top five Global knowledge regions, alongside San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, Boston I128 and The Triangle in North Carolina.” 

1.10.    To perform this function the LSCC requires funding support for which it has been agreed that the GLA will provide £40,000 to support the Taskforce secretariat function up to December 2017, at which point a further assessment will be made of the next steps for the West Anglia Taskforce and the best way to approach any further work required.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1.    Over the coming year the West Anglia Taskforce has the following objectives:

a)    Promote the report's five point “call to action” using this to build a broad coalition of sponsors and supporters
b)    Use the highly compelling narrative‎ and campaign to underpin the importance of the proposed WAML upgrade to both the ambitious Crossrail 2 programme and to the economic trajectory of the London Stansted Cambridge corridor itself
c)    Drive forward a series of short to medium term train service and performance improvements, promoting innovation and further work with rail partners to bring about tangible ‎benefits for commuters and airport users
d)    Explore, with partner agencies, any sources of significant capital funding for which the four-tracking rail infrastructure ‎works may be eligible, in addition to Exchequer allocations

2.2.    The expected outcome is that there will be much higher recognition of the need to make improvements to the WAML within various Whitehall departments, principally DfT but also other relevant departments such as Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy and HM Treasury.

Equality comments

3.1      This decision is not expected to have any impact on those with protected characteristics.


Other considerations

4.1     This decision is not considered to pose any risks to the GLA. The GLA will still play a key role in the work of the Taskforce. 

4.2     The London Plan identifies the Upper Lee Valley as an Opportunity Area. The Taskforce’s work   supports the Mayor’s commitment to realising the potential of the region and improving its connections to areas outside London. The London Infrastructure Plan 2050 identifies the need to build 49,000 new homes a year to meet the growing demand for housing and the existing backlog, and the work of the Taskforce is intended to help unlock housing growth potential in outer London and beyond.

4.3      The Taskforce membership includes some local authorities and business groups along the corridor and the LSCC, as part of its Taskforce secretariat function, will continue to conduct stakeholder engagement with local authorities and business groups in the work of the Taskforce in order to ensure that their views and considerations are incorporated into its work at the earliest opportunity.


Financial comments

5.1    DD1471 previously approved expenditure to support the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium West Anglia Taskforce Growth Plan work.  Approval is now being sought for a contribution of up to £40,000 to support the Taskforce Secretariat function.  The cost will be funded from the Transport Team’s 2016-17 and 2017-2018 Budgets. 


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]


Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

January 2017

Main milestones

4 x meetings of the Taskforce

3x meetings of All Party Parliamentary Group

Main milestones

3 x business engagement and stakeholder events

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:

Feb 2018

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

December 2017

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

January 2018


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