I am arguing against the motion in an Arup-organised debate that “This house believes that London will never have world class integrated transport infrastructure”. Why? Because I believe that London already has world-class integrated transport infrastructure, and it just keeps on getting better.

I moved away from London in 1989 and thought I would never return to live here. But, never say never, and in the short time I have been back I have seen fantastic changes in London’s infrastructure: the diagonal pedestrian crossing at Oxford Circus; the removal of pedestrian barriers at congested spots to make crossing easier; the cycle hire scheme; the cycle superhighways; the East London train line; the provision of plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure. These are just a few initiatives, and more are sure to come.

So what has brought about this world-class integrated transport infrastructure? London’s existing legacy infrastructure plays a role – parts of the underground network date back 150 years, and although the services are overcrowded, imagine how London would be if this infrastructure had not been put in place all those years ago?

Recent improvements arise from issues of governance and control. Having all aspects of transport under the jurisdiction of one organisation is fundamental to a quality integrated transport system. Transport for London is accountable for both the planning and delivery of transport facilities, which enables it to take a truly integrated approach to how people, goods and services move around London.

Sadly, outside of London the situation is very different – and so are the transport systems.

As you may imagine, I am looking forward to the debate!