Monday, 25 October 2010

London transport spending

London Reconnections reproduces a Transport for London statement about the funding settlement.

Four points caught my eye:

(a) It implies that some sort of Piccadilly Line upgrade is still going ahead, despite the cancellation several months ago of the order for its new rolling stock. Maybe we are to get new signalling but with old trains.

(b) The East London Line extension to Clapham Junction is going ahead "and will be delivered by the end of 2012", though presumably still without the new station at Surrey Canal Road. It will be good to have more frequent trains from Denmark Hill, though I am not sure how far the new journey opportunities will compensate for the forthcoming reduction in Victoria-bound trains (and their removal altogether from Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road).

(c) The congestion charge is increasing to £10. This is a step in the right direction, but I think it ought to be at least £15. Most car journeys in central London are unnecessary and should be penalised accordingly.

(d) Parking on the TfL road network will be charged for. And so I should think. Why on earth that's not already the case is a mystery.

Probably the worst news is the confirmation that fares, already quite high, will rise by a lot more than inflation. On buses, especially, this will hit the poorer citizens disproportionately and is therefore regressive. Ken Livingstone always did his best to keep bus fares as low as possible within whatever financial settlement was available, even when there was no alternative to putting tube fares up.

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