Getting London Moving

Posted on 12 July 2004 in London, Transport (No comments)

Apparently this was in all the papers last week when released but I don't tend to read the printed paper these days, and my favoured online news source (BBC News) didn't seem to cover it at all.

On the 6 July, Ken Livingstone announced how London's transport system could look in 2016 if he gets to do everything he wants.

It's one hell of a vision with lots of proposed tramways and train improvements - including the much needed West London Tramway (don't let "Save Ealing's Streets" fool you - their stance on trams won't save Ealing from anything) and Croydon Tramlink extensions, the very much needed Crossrail and an attempt to make the East London Line much more useful.

Of course if any of it ever happens, we'll be bloody lucky. The Thameslink 2000 project plans were first submitted in 1997 and we're still not there. The much needed Crossrail project to run a mainline railway under central London was first mooted in 1989 and goodness know when that will happen.

The £312.5bn required to do all that is requested may sound like a lot of money, but the affects on the economy that they would provide would probably pay for it all several times over.

But it's that money that is the problem. Government after government fail to recognise that London's transport infrastructure is inadequate for what it is being asked to do. And of course the longer they leave it, the worse things get (and the more expensive the projects will be)

Don't get me wrong - we still have the best public transport systems in the UK right here in London, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's cheap (unless you're doing train only), generally reliable, and does the job. But its busy and overcrowded and it needs some help. It just seems unlikely to get it.

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