A happy new year to all our readers.
A recap of the most interesting transport news from the last couple of weeks follows below:
Following 'meaningful' talks between LUL and ASLEF, the planned strikes on 16 Jan, 3 & 13 Feb have been suspended.
The '1,000 tonne and… longer than a football pitch' CrossRail tunnelling machines have been unveiled [BBC].
Year in review
Tom Edwards examines the highs and lows of 2011 and looks forward to 2012.
Meanwhile, Christian Wolmar takes a look at the Transport Secretary's in-tray.
Nicholas Faith points out that politics and birds are likely to see off plans for an estuary airport [Independent].
The first pylon of the new Greenwich cable car has been erected [Standard].
Dave Hill examines the fair fares argument and how it may pay off in the upcoming election:
"Fares are bedrock and bread-and-butter in most Londoners' lives and Team Ken has devised a policy that grabs attention, defines a sharp difference with its main opponent and serves as a flagship for the broader Livingstone campaign theme of protecting "ordinary Londoners" from the effects of government policy."
The Mayor claims that this 'war on roadworks' has cut serious disruption on London's streets by 39% [BBC].
The Hammersmith Flyover remains closed with no clear reopening date in sight [Construction News].
Transport spending is skewed towards London, say the IPPR North, with the Capital and South-East accounting for some 84% of all transport cash. As if to back the point up, as the report was published, a trickle of announcements came from TfL, detailing local transport spending. Some, though by no means all, are listed here:
Harrow (£2.4m), Hackney (£2.6m), Greenwich (£3.4m), Hillingdon (£4.6m), Hammersmith & Fulham (£2.7m), Ealing (£4.7m), Haringey (£3.7m), Enfield (£4.2m), Havering (£4.7m), Hounslow (£3.3m). The releases themselves, strangely, appear to have now disappeared from the TfL website.
Command and control
The Mayor has defended plans to centralise "the network operations centre, power, track access and policing control centres" into one space on Blackfriars Road at a cost of some £25m [London SE1].
Annie Mole flags up some really interesting Ghost Tube Station info-graphics [Going Underground].
And Time Out has discovered a Lego Tube map.
And finally… the Woolwich foot tunnel...
…has reopened after a refurbishment [BBC].