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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TfL upgrades shelved

Today Transport for London announced its £9.2bn budget for 2009/2010 as delivering "major milestones" for the Tube, Crossrail, DLR and the East London Line. This is true to an extent but if you scroll down the
headline pleasing release, you'll see some London Underground station upgrades have been stalled.

Metronet's financial bungling seem to be to blame for the deferral of step free access to the Metropolitan & Circle lines at Baker Street. This was supposed to have been part of TfL’s "commitments for the 2012 Games" to "provide step-free access" at this specific station.

Tottenham Court Road Tube - New cross platform ads
Tottenham Court Road Tube to be upgraded

Boris Johnson said "The collapse of Metronet already means that some work must be put back or cancelled, so I will be relentless in making the case to the Government that they should not let other projects falter."

The bus based £40 million Greenwich Waterfront transit scheme has also been scrapped.

One of the projects that got a go ahead was the re-development of Tottenham Court Road Station which will provide additional capacity & serve Crossrail. Nice to see priorities starting with getting some shiny new advertising in, which I noticed on my way home this evening.

Labour group leader from the London Assembly, Len Duvall, isn't wild about the projects and said: "This is the pay more, get less Mayor who raises fares and wastes money on wild vanity schemes but can't find the money for the key transport projects to see London through the recession. Everyone accepts the need for a certain amount of belt-tightening but this should focus the Mayor on the key improvements London's transport system needs. What we are seeing is a shift in priorities away from viable, necessary schemes towards the Mayor's eye-catching vanity projects".

At least we will see the completion of the upgrade of the Jubilee line. This will be delivering a 33% increase in capacity and will serve an extra 10,000 passengers an hour. However, I'm guessing that one of the "vanity projects" Duvall refers to includes the £57m bike hire scheme. I wonder if turning London into a version of Amsterdam, will mean less commuters on the Tube? If so, all well and good. However, it does seem like a shed load of money to invest in a cycling scheme, and it wouldn't tempt non bike riders like me to cycle into work.

; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 31, 2009 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon