Thursday, 6 November 2008

Boris stars in the 'Bonfire of the transport projects'

What Boris Johnson says:

"We will beat this recession more speedily, and emerge in far better shape, if we make sure we put people to work in projects that boost the long-term competitiveness of the country.

"That means investing in the things that can radically improve the transport, attractiveness and general liveability of the capital city, the motor of the British economy. We may be in a hole, but the lesson of history is that tunnels and bridges and dams can bring jobs and growth."

What Boris Johnson does:

Thames Gateway Bridge (Scrapped)

"The objections raised at the public inquiry have always been a concern to the Mayor, particularly the disbenefits to traffic flow.

"In addition, the funding gap that has now arisen, along with other concerns over location and environmental impact, has compounded the Mayor's view that the proposal is not the right one, particularly in light of the consistent local opposition to the scheme."

Cross River Tram (Scrapped)

"Given the lack of funding available to implement the project and the likelihood of not securing additional third party funding, TfL is not in a position to develop the scheme any further."

Croydon Tramlink Extension (Shelved)

"The Crystal Palace scheme had been progressed by TfL but there is no funding for implementationTfL 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. The Mayor has indicated that the recommendation from this study will form part of a future bid to Government."

Oxford Street Tram/Transit (Scrapped)

"The proposal to improve links between Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road is unaffordable and the disruption during construction would be very substantial.

"TfL is working with Westminster Council to implement streetscape improvements as part of New West End Company ORB proposals. TfL is also assessing options to reduce bus volumes along Oxford Street at minimum negative impact to bus passengers."

East London and Greenwich Waterfront Transit (Shelved)

"Beyond the completion of the ELT 1a, ELT 1b and GWT 1 projects that are funded in the plan, no other further phases will be funded under the PlanSome of these future phases (ELT2) were planned to support public transport services across Thames Gateway Bridge. TfL will undertake a wider review as part of the sub-regional analysis working with boroughs to assess the potential for further transit routes and opportunities for external funding."

Public Space Proposals: Parliament Square, Euston Circus, Victoria Embankment, High Street 2012 (Scrapped)

"These schemes have been cancelled as they offered limited transport benefits and had the added disbenefit of restricting traffic flow at a time when London's road network will be under increased stress due to an increase in construction work and the need to deliver efficient transport flow for a successful 2012 Games."

DLR Dagenham Dock (Shelved)

"Funding has yet to be identified to implement the proposed extension through Barking Riverside to Dagenham Dock which would support the proposed plans. It is unclear whether the Barking Riverside housing development is a Government priority to 2018."

What Boris Johnson says:

What Boris Johnson does:


Tom said...

Have you not got a picture of a steaming pile of horse manure?

The Troll said...

I will see what I can find!

Labour Assembly (press release) said...

The London Assembly Labour group have slammed Boris Johnson's decision to drop a series of major transport projects, including the much-needed Thames Gateway Bridge, the private sector funding for which will now be lost.

The Mayor has today abandoned plans for:

A Brixton/Peckham to Camden cross river tram
Extensions to the Docklands Light Railway and Croydon Tramlink
An east London river crossing, the Thames Gateway Bridge

Responding to the news, Labour's London Assembly transport spokesperson Val Shawcross said the Mayor was showing his utter lack of ambition and abandoning outer London by making a bonfire of vital transport projects. Deputy leader of the Labour group and local east London Assembly member, John Biggs, said that by axing the Thames Gateway Bridge the Mayor was wasting £350 million and over twenty years worth of work and betraying east London.

John Biggs said: "This is a betrayal of East London and a stab in the back for East London residents whose transport needs far out-weigh the minority opposition to the Bridge.

"It has been in the pipeline for over twenty years. Work was due to begin, subject to final planning approval, in 2009. But - for all the Mayor's platitudes about the need to invest to stimulate London's economy - when it came to the crunch, he has done the complete opposite. The Bridge would have slashed local cross-river journey times, kick-started regeneration in the area and created the potential for 42,000 new jobs and improved opportunities for local people. This, and the £350 million of PFI credits, will all now be lost for crude political reasons.

"The Mayor is showing a lack of leadership - he is there to serve all Londoners and that means standing up to the forces of backwardness in his own party. The London economy vitally needs this sort of boost and east London's ability to provide growth and job opportunities for the capital as a whole will be seriously compromised by this decision."

Private sector funding for construction of the bridge, which would have connected Newham to Greenwich, was in place so there were no cost implications for London council tax payers. The PFI credits secured from the government for the project will now be lost; not reinvested
It would have been only the fourth road crossing to the east of London between Tower Bridge and Dartford, compared to the sixteen between Vauxhall and the M25 in the west.

Commenting on the loss of London's other vital transport projects Val Shawcross said: "The Mayor has said a lot about the need to invest in major projects for the sake of London's economy. Yet here he is making a bonfire of much-needed transport schemes vital the economic regeneration of the city.

"The Mayor's utter lack of commitment to public transport, to encouraging people out of their cars and to investing in London's future have been vividly exposed today. It seems that poorer areas of London and the outer boroughs in most need of public transport links just do not feature in the Mayor's vision. I fear this could be the week in which London's public transport progress ground to a halt."

The Cross River Tram would have transformed public transport in south London and eased pressure on the Northern Line.
The DLR extension to Dagenham Docks was vital to the regeneration of the area, connecting it to other parts of London. £5 million has already been spent
The Croydon Tramlink extension would have reduced journey times between Croydon and Crystal Palace to just 18 minutes. The scheme had 78% local support, would have reduced pollution and increased air quality and boosted the local economy.


Liberal Democrats (press release) said...

Caroline Pidgeon AM, London Assembly Liberal Democrat lead on transport, commenting on Transport for London's Ten Year Business Plan, published today, said:

“It is staggering that schemes such as the Cross River Tram, the Croydon Tramlink Extension, East London Transit, Greenwich

Waterfront Transit and plans for an Oxford street tram appear to have been scrapped with nothing in their place apart from, perhaps, a few more polluting diesel buses.

How can a Tory Mayor moan that there is no public sector funding to deliver these projects. He should instead be looking for private sector funding or support from enterprising business groups. Where is the Mayor's innovation and creative thinking that we were promised?

The only seed of hope in this plan is that TfL has not ruled out funding for Phase 2b of the East London Line Extension from Surrey Canal Road to Clapham Junction. This would provide Londoners with a truly orbital transport link, meaning that journeys across south London would no longer have to be via central London"

A casual observer said...

"Further schemes to cool deeper Tube lines, improving passenger comfort"

Do we know what is happening here? Still seems a little vague. Anyone know anymore?

The Troll said...

From memory I think there was some talk of siphoning off heat from the underground to pre-heat water supplies, but I think that's mostly never-never stuff.

Ken Livingstone (press release) said...

“The political slogan of the day is ‘yes we can’ but when it comes to transport investment in London, with these cuts to transport links announced today, Boris Johnson is declaring ‘no we won’t.’ It is the worst of all worlds to see cuts in future transport links and yet a massive above-inflation fares hike this coming January as well, but that is exactly the policy Boris Johnson is imposing.

“Over the last eight years London moved forward with planning and investment to meet the growing pressures in our city but with a shut-down of future transport projects London is paying the heaviest possible price for a Tory regime in City Hall.

“Londoners need to understand that with this announcement virtually all of London’s transport infrastructure investment and planning apart from Crossrail and the Tube upgrades are being aborted. It is a stunning blow to outer London which stood to benefit from many of these new links, such as in Dagenham and Croydon. Today’s announcement is like pouring weed-killer on green shoots.

“It may well be that David Cameron has told Boris Johnson that there would be huge cuts in public expenditure under a Tory government and he must therefore scale back London’s plans to continue to improve transport infrastructure in London. The biggest sickness in post-war British politics was the failure to take long-term decisions to invest in our future and this is a perfect example of that short-term head-in-the-sand malaise.

“The cuts to the extension of the Docklands Light Railway will harm plans for decent housing in that part of London by removing the chance of improved public transport links.

“The cut that particularly surprises me is the blocking of any investment to extend the Croydon Tramlink, a cost-effective proposal that would have seen major benefits to South London - damaging the interests of many people who actually voted for Boris Johnson.

“Londoners who want to see their city moving forward need to come together to challenge these cuts to investment and the other backward steps that Boris Johnson has taken.”


Darren Johnson Green AM (press release) said...

Mayor puts London transport in reverse gear

While welcoming the cancellation of the Thames Gateway six lane road
Bridge, Darren Johnson will use next weeks Mayor's Question Time to
interrogate the Mayor on the cancellation of a number of important
public transport schemes in London.

The Mayor today cancelled proposals for an Oxford Street Tram, East
London Transit, Greenwich Waterfront Transit, Docklands Light Rail
extension to Dagenham Dock, extensions to Croydon Tramlink, the East
London Line extension from Surrey Quays and New Cross to Clapham
Junction, and important public space proposals at Parliament Square,
Euston Station, Victoria Embankment, and the route between central
London and the Olympic park.

"The Mayor has today put London's transport in reverse gear and
pressed the accelerator to the floor. The cancellation of so many
important public transport schemes not only ends the hopes of many
London neighbourhoods to be put on London's transport map, it also
shows that all the Mayor's talk of spending London out of recession is
just that. Talk."

"This backward looking approach is best demonstrated by the
abandonment of schemes to significantly improve London's public
spaces. By placing the car over the needs of pedestrians, the Mayor
is reinforcing the planning errors of the last forty years when he
should be correcting them."

On the Thames Gateway Bridge, Darren said:
"Scrapping this new road across the Thames is good news for the
environment and for the local people who have spent years fighting
this proposal. It was the single biggest mistake of the previous
Mayor, and this decision vindicates the hard work of the local people
and experts who successfully opposed this bridge at the public


angelneptunestar said...

This is the sensible thing to do because if there is one thing we must not do it is overspend and place more financial burden on Londoners. I bet you if you did a poll, most Londoners would agree. That tooth fairy isn't even available for Gordon Brown, but he is not restricting his spending plans, no doubt figuring if he loses the next election, the Tories will have to clean up the mess.

sarah hart said...

angela the worst thing you can do is not spend - the old saying 'you got to spend money to amke money' rings true now as it ever did.
If money is not spent on the key elements of the economic infrastructure, of which transport is at the core alongside construction, then you end up with a completely inefficient transport system as happened prior to 2000 when it was left to the market to sort it out - that's when there was private capital. Even George W Bush realised that you have to intervene to boost the economy.
Of course, you can always do a poll to ask people if they'd like lower taxes, just as you could to ask people if they'd like a free holiday - what would that prove?

eric ray said...

'the lesson of history is that tunnels and bridges and dams can bring jobs and growth' - so what treat are we in for? The Boris Bridge, the Boris Tunnel or the Boris Dam - maybe he could run another competition - 'hairbrain scheme of the month'

michael field said...

As usual just as we were beginning to catch europe up on advanced transport schemes, along come the tory backwoodsman and condems London to second rate overcrowded transport well done Boris see how you can create havoc with the olympics