Mayor Boris Johnson today announced a massive expansion of London Transport by scrapping £3 billion worth of projects. Tramlink expansion is canned including the £170m extension of the Croydon Tram network to the Crystal Palace Bus Station.
Officially the Crystal Palace project “will not be progressed” and “TfL will conduct a wider study involving the boroughs affected as part of the new sub-regional plans to assess the transport needs of this part of Outer London”. So we might get a new bus route … with Routemasters?
Boris blames Ken saying “many of these projects promised by the previous Mayor were never funded beyond their initial design stages and had no money set aside to deliver them”. Instead Boris promises to deliver:
The first of the large-scale Tube upgrades on the Jubilee, Victoria and Northern lines, each providing between 20 and 30 per cent more capacity into central London
The first ever air-conditioned trains on the Metropolitan, Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines
Three-car trains on the DLR providing a 50 per cent increase in capacity
The transformation of the London Overground network – which includes the East London line and North London line – with improved reliability and a doubling of capacity
Improvements to London’s traffic flow, such as through the optimisation of traffic lights and coordination of roadworks
A new Routemaster fit for 21st Century London
Trial of orbital express buses in Outer London
A London cycle hire scheme and other major initiatives, such as cycle highways, to revolutionise cycling in London
A complete vision for the increased use of the Thames
The East London Line is the only major one benefitting us south of the river. A bit of a cheat when it was conceived, financed and mostly built by his predecesor and is too near delivery to be scrapped.
Most of the scrapped schemes were designed to improve transport south of the river as we have historically been less well served that than North London. It would appear that money will be travelling north and to the Olympics and we stay the poor relations. And it may be cynical to say that we are even poorer by the increased bus fares necessary to help fill the hole in the budget by Boris’s scrapping of the £25 congestion charge for gas guzzlers.