Mayor’s Transport Direction of Travel – London First commentNovember 5, 2008
Leading business organisation London First has welcomed the Mayor’s Transport Direction of Travel, published today.
Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:
“I know that Boris shares the desire common to every Londoner – to make getting about our city a little less frustrating. London needs Boris to get a grip on the capital’s transport system and then TfL to put Boris’s priorities into action. Today’s announcements are a start. The challenge now is to deliver: more trains, running more reliably; fewer jams for cars and buses and a better deal for cyclists and pedestrians.”
“The Tube is more than a full-sized train set – it is the cardiovascular system for the capital. If London is to avoid a seizure, we must commit to an expensive and uncomfortable programme of improvements.
“But if there is a case for more Government money, it would be strengthened by demonstrating that every penny is being well spent.
“How can the vital upgrade of the ageing Tube network fit alongside the needs of commuters? New ideas are needed. Why not consider fast-tracking major improvements on short sections, rerouting passengers onto alternative lines for a few days? This would give better value for money and a quicker return in terms of reliability and capacity.”
“And let’s not hide the former Metronet contracts inside London Underground. Londoners need to know how the money is being spent by the Tube PPP contractors. Transparency is vital.”
“Until now, despite London nearing gridlock, TfL has had no programme to cut congestion nor any specific budget to tackle the problem. Does congestion matter as much to London’s transport chiefs as it does to other Londoners? I hope today’s announcements will translate into new vigour in this area.”
Thames Gateway Bridge/East London transport schemes
“Parts of east London, home to hundreds of thousands of Londoners, risk being less well connected than the sparsely populated Isle of Skye! The Thames Gateway Bridge would have helped to transform this situation. What a curiosity that despite Government funding already set aside, the scheme looks set to be scrapped.
“Hopefully there’s better news ahead for other east London transport schemes such as the East London Line extension and the Silvertown Crossing. We are pleased that the Mayor accepts the need for another river crossing in East London, but we cannot wait for 15 or 20 years before it’s built.”
– ENDS –
Notes to Editors
London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First mobilises the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.
London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent a quarter of London’s GDP.