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Monday, October 27, 2003

Northern Line still closed & Ken speaks in The Londoner

Woke up to hear that the parts of the Northern Line will
still remain closed for safety checks after last weekend's derailment where seven people were injured.

Then with my morning post I received a copy of this month's The Londoner - a free paper from the Mayor and on page 3 was a letter from Ken himself, about the current state of London's transport. It echoed all the stuff that we're all familiar hearing Ken Livingstone say:

"articles in various newspapers claiming that London is facing a major deficit in its transport budget. This is completely untrue. ".....

"London needs significant new investment to allow the bus network, Tube, railways and roads to continue to accommodate the fastest growing population of any major city in Europe and to overcome the backlog of neglect caused by prolonged underfunding."....

"I do not believe the extra funds should come from Tube or bus fares because that would discourage people from using public transport and we already have the highest Tube fares in the world. Neither should the council tax be used to fund the improvement in the transport system - the other calls on council tax are already heavy enough without adding to them.".....

"I believe that the only way forward is for the government to commit more government grant to investing in London's transport system. I am not asking for gifts - I just want London to hold onto more of the �10-20 billion a year net contribution we make to the government's finances.".....

"For the government it makes sense to invest in the capital because London's growth massively assists the entire British economy. And that growth will be undermined if we don't develop the transport system to accommodate it."


We'll wait and see shall we?

I'm really pleased to have got a response to a number of issues we've been discussing on this blog from Lynne Featherstone and from Tom Watson - Labour MP - see below, but I think we would all appreciate some action now, rather than the endless discussions about funding and underfunding and who should finance it.

Fact, London's transport is underfunded.
Fact, as commuters we pay the highest public transport fares in the world.
Fact, the 140 year old system is not built to cope adequately with today's level of three million passengers everyday.
Fact, everyone's pissed off and unhappy!

End of tabloid style comments from me today and thank Christ I don't have to travel on the Northern Line today.


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