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375152.  Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:33 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Just because it happens it's ridiculous to say the other party is in array.

Hey, you are the only one claiming the Tories are that! ;)

375190.  Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:14 am Reply with quote

I was only aping Hazel Blears, and Ken Livingstone.
Labour has said that the Conservatives are in "disarray" after the resignation of London deputy mayor Ray Lewis.

Mr Lewis quit amid claims of financial irregularities and inappropriate behaviour, which he denies.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said the affair had left Conservative leader David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson "embroiled in a mess".

Ken Livingstone, who was replaced by Mr Johnson as London Mayor, said: "In my entire eight years in office I suffered only one enforced resignation of any of my most senior officials, Lee Jasper, and that only after seven years.

"This extreme contrast shows vividly the incompetence of Boris Johnson and his administration.

"It is an equal crisis for David Cameron who, it should be remembered, chose to make his first photo opportunity as Tory leader with Ray Lewis."

375232.  Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:44 am Reply with quote

All sounds perfectly reasonable to me Barb, and no suggestion of the Tories being in array in sight!

375545.  Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:31 am Reply with quote

TubewayAndy wrote:
I was rather impressed to see Boris lead the Gay Pride parade yesterday with all his current troubles. And I was surprised that he received a fairly enthusiastic welcome

Bit of an about-turn for a guy who supported Section 28.

375565.  Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:04 am Reply with quote

Ahh, the politics of the masses. Quick, someone give me a baby to kiss...

375567.  Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:06 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
Quick, someone give me a baby to kiss...


376095.  Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:16 am Reply with quote

Perversions aside, I see Boris followed up on his promise to scrap the 25 charge, but he's also scrapped the idea of making the charge free for low emission cars or even reducing it.

This means that those with bigger cars (most likely to be either households with a large income or more than a single income) will be charged the same as those with smaller cars (most likely to be either households with small incomes or on a single income). Work out which ones are more likely to be put off by the congestion charge now they all pay equally.

I agree that the congestion charge was not set up for tackling climate change though there is an understandable correlation. The biggest mistake of the previous administration IMO was not rebranding the charge so that it was more of a "London" charge rather than a "Congestion" charge, that might have got slightly more support, but then again...

414706.  Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:19 am Reply with quote

Sooooo, in one corner we have Arnie, not terribly known for his linguistic abilities, probably well kept away from Dolly Parton. He sees someone he doesn't know faffling his lines on the stage and makes an innocent comment.

Boris waits a whole year, is not even referring to any particular speech Arnie made and the best he can come up with is that he's a monosyllabic Austrian?

Ooh, that's low....

436279.  Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:26 am Reply with quote

Looks like we're losing quite a few transport schemes in and around London, and TFL and others will have lay off jobs as Johnson looks to scrap projects.

But it's OK, because he's still going ahead with spending money on air conditioning for trains and the East London line extension (to make it easier to travel to and from Henley I presume).

436285.  Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:43 am Reply with quote

Yes, because the East London line goes so close to Henley....

It would appear that all Boris is doing is being forced to reign in the wild and extravagent promises made by Ken & Co.

Here's a full breakdown from on what is being scrapped and why;

Schemes that lack funding and will not be progressed by the Plan:
Many of these projects promised by the previous Mayor were never funded beyond their initial design stages and had no money set aside to deliver them. To build them all now would require over 3bn in additional funding.
Thames Gateway Bridge (cost to complete 500m+): 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 (cost to complete 1.3bn): 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. However the Business Plan will deliver a number of transport improvements to the communities along the proposed routes including the increased capacity and more frequent services to come on the Northern, Victoria and Piccadilly lines. TfL and the LDA will now look at alternatives to CRT including Northern line separation, improved bus operations and other ways of supporting local regeneration.
Croydon Tramlink Extension (170m+): The Crystal Palace scheme had been progressed by TfL but there is no funding for implementation. TfL 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 (500m): The proposal to improve links between Marble Arch to 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 Transit (ELT) (200m+) and Greenwich Waterfront Transit (GWT) (170m+): 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 Plan. Some of these future phases (ELT2) were planned to support public transport services across TGB. 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 such as Parliament Square, Euston Circus, Victoria Embankment, High Street 2012 (100m+ not including possible 3rd party funding): 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 (750m): 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.

I don't think that many of those projects bring very much to the table in terms of value for money - and certainly not more than adding air con or other cooling systems to existing tube lines.

I am particularly pleased that the Oxford St tram idea has been thoroughly binned, as it is beyond bonkers to think that it would help. And all we'd need is one tram to break down outside John Lewis on a Saturday afternoon to bring the entire West End to a complete and total standstill.

Oh, and the full Business Plan for TfL tells us that the approved schemes will generate around 38,000 new jobs, directly and indirectly (page 89).

436294.  Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:03 am Reply with quote

Come on Neo, you know much better than that :)

The website is hardly going to say anything against these proposals or mention why any of them were needed and the support they were given.

The 3bn quoted sounds fierce, but is tiny compared to the 39bn propsed as a budget for Crossrail and tube improvements, not to mention the jobs it would create and associated benefits.

TFL is alreasdy talking of "reductions in headcount", a lovely way of of saying we're getting ris of people. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union are already talking about resisting cutbacks which they expect will happen from this.

Also to note are which schemes are being scrapped, these are schemes which will not be getting much, if ny, funding from central Government. What happened to all the fnuding Johnson was going to free up by streamlining the London Authority? What happened to all the private businesses who were going to invest in London?

436311.  Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:39 am Reply with quote

OK, let's take the most expensive of the 'scrapped' (can something be scrapped if there was no money to pay for it in the first place?) plans - the Cross River Tram.

According to this website, it was part of the TfL plan in 2004. Apparently (and this is admittedly the first I've ever heard of it) it was going to connect Camden to Brixton, via King's Cross and Waterloo.

This plan was supposedly due to be completed in 2017. So a big help to all of us right now, then.

I have to admit to being quite violently opposed to any plans to bring trams into Zone 1, for precisely the reason I gave above about the Oxford St idea. Seeing as the streetplan itself has hardly changed since medieval times, they are completely unsuited to be retro-fitted with tram tracks, IMO. Travelling by tram along that route is unlikely to be any faster than by bus, and is likely to make the roads even more congested.

The money would be much better spent on improving the tube network, particularly by increasing carriage capacity and the aforementioned air con - and getting from Camden to Brixton isn't exactly a massive pain in the ass even at rush hour as it is.

436410.  Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:09 pm Reply with quote

There does seem to be a fundamental and basic opposition to trams in the UK - I don't know why this is so, but whenever a new tramway is proposed there seems to be a load of opposition.

I've said it before and may well say it again - trolleybuses would be a better answer in a number of British cities, including London. Over simplistically, to install a trolleybus system would be half the work of installing a tramway - you only need the wires, not the rails. Also, modern design trolleybuses have electric batteries as well. These enable them to run off route for a short distance if a diversion is necessary, and to be shunted out of the way if the overhead power fails.

As for retrofitting tram tracks, well of course they were there once before - London had trams until 1952.

436622.  Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:04 pm Reply with quote


But, to be fair, the number of cars on British roads - and one would imagine certainly London's - has multiplied by ten since the early fifties, so the demands and needs of the city have somewhat changed. If we had 90% less traffic, then bring on the trams I say.

Although I must say that walking down a street and seeing a trolley bus taking a diversion from its route would be a quite singularly discombobulating experience.

But I don't know why we would want to monkey around with different types of transport, and very probably getting them wrong to start with, when the tube does its job pretty damn well as it is. I certainly think that money is better spent in improving the current infrastructure rather than adding complicated new bits to it that will be of, at best, niche value.

Taking the Cross Tram example again, you can aleady get from Camden to Brixton in one change on the tube, and a shedload of cash is being spent right now on improving the Victoria line, which makes up 80% of that journey. So why spend even more cash on putting in a complicated new system on roughly the same route that will have to fight with traffic and pedestrians?

A Tram or trolleybus carries a fraction of the people at a fraction of the pace of the tube network - and considering that the single, overwhelming concern of every London commuter is to Get Home As Soon As Possible, so they simply won't care if they get to look out of the window on the way.

436628.  Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:29 pm Reply with quote

Will the Victoria line improvement increase the capacity Neo?

Because from what I can tell it's already bloody quick. Certainly makes enough noise anyway.


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