Boris says ‘No’.



Putting a positive spin.

(Click to download a pdf file from the Mayor of London’s website)

What do right wing politicians in the UK and USA have against rail transport? They will happily fund the state-owned road network and allow it to be pounded into smithereens by lorries with axle weights that are entirely unsuitable for tarmac technology. Sometimes they will allow the existing railway and tube/metro networks to be patched up and brought up to a condition that more enlightened countries achieved in the 1970s. But talk about new rail infrastructure investment and they go green in the gills.

Boris Johnson, the new Mayor of London, has launched his new vision for the future of transport in London in a glossy leaflet called Way to go!. It’s full of hype about public transport investments that have already been made. It’s almost as if, in some magical way, it was our Boris, not his predecessor, Ken Livingstone, that was responsible. Then comes a long list of the projects that will not be proceeded with. These include:

  • Cross River Tram (£1.3bn)
    A project to build a tram line running from Camden in the North to Brixton and Peckham in the South. The line would have connected Euston and Waterloo mainline railway termini and have had a peak capacity of 9,000 passengers per hour. (more…) (even more)
  • Croydon Tramlink Extension (£170m)
    The new value for money extension would have connected with the East London Line Extension and other National Rail services at Crystal Palace railway station, and bus services at Crystal Palace Parade. The tram service would have provided up to 6 trams an hour and a journey time of 18 minutes between Croydon and Crystal Palace. (more…) (even more)
  • Docklands Light Railway extension (£750m)
    This extension would have extended the Docklands Light Railway from Gallions Reach to Dagenham Dock railway station in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, on the London, Tilbury and Southend railway. It would have served 11,000 new homes being built in a development called Barking Riverside. (more…) (even more)
  • Oxford Street Tram (£500m)
    This scheme would have completely pedestrianised Oxford Street and replaced buses with trams.
    (more…) (even more)

There will be some investments in improving capacity on the Underground and Overground network. But let’s face it these will only be catching up on backlogs of investment that should have been made years ago. For a good summary of what’s in and what’s been cut out go to this article on the BBC News website.

Boris is asking for comments. See below:

This document is a precursor to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, and although it does not form part of the formal process of consulting on the strategy, your views and comments on these issues and ideas are invited.  Comments on this document will be considered by the Mayor prior to drafting the Transport Strategy. The consultation will last for 10 weeks and close on Friday 16 January 2009.  Comments should be sent either by post to:

Way to Go!
Post Point 22
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2BR

Or by email to:

One Response to “Boris says ‘No’.”

  1. Gavin Whitelaw Says:

    Yep, Barking Riverside…. I was looking forward to that passing my house as I now have free travel thanks to working for TfL Nice one Boris!

    Seriously though, with the recession looming where was all the money going to come from for Comrade Kens wonderful transport Utopia?

    Ever since the 1950’s billions have been spent on the roads but only a small percentage of that on rail improvements – and most of that was wasted! We are paying more now to line shareholder’s pockets of the privatised companies than we paid to BR in Subsidies…

    Something awry there methinks and until someone at the top realises this nothing will change. Or have the politicians got too many fingers in the road transport pie?

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