London to get biggest transport investment in 80 years
London to get biggest transport investment in 80 years as TfL publishes Business Plan
London’s transport network will see massive growth in both the number of passengers it carries and the number of services it operates, according to Transport for London’s (TfL) revised Business Plan, which was considered by its board yesterday. During the next four years a huge program of investment will see three Tube lines fully upgraded with new trains on five lines, major progress on Crossrail, the completion of the London Overground network, traffic flow smoothed, the completion of the Barclays Cycle Superhighways and extension of Barclays Cycle Hire, and the maintenance of the capital’s bus network. The plan also sets out an increased savings and efficiencies program, totaling £7.6 billion (US$12 billion), up from around £5 billion (US$8 billion).
Despite an overall 8% reduction in TfL’s overall spending power following last year’s Government Spending Review; there will be an unprecedented upgrade of the transport network. Over the course of the Business Plan, which runs until 2014/15, TfL will deliver: transport for the London 2012 Olympic Games; a total of 4,000 traffic signals reviewed to reduce delays on the city’s roads; the introduction of a lane rental scheme to cut unnecessary delays caused by roadworks, subject to support from the Government; the completion of all 12 Barclays Cycle Superhighways; the eastward extension of Barclays Cycle Hire scheme; and the Source London electric vehicle charging network.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, “Through negotiations, savings and efficiencies we have done what many believed to be impossible. We have secured the greatest investment in London’s transport network in 80 years, which will deliver Crossrail, the Tube upgrades, the completion of the London Overground network and the continuation of the cycling revolution, while protecting front line passenger and customer services. We will meet all of those challenges, while also ensuring we are as efficient and effective as we can be, through our £7.6bn savings program.” Part of the savings plan will include £375 million (US$600 million) from efficiencies in IT systems and £290 million (US$463 million) from renegotiating major contracts, including Congestion Charging and highway maintenance.