LondonUnlocked

The latest London transport digest

LondonUnlocked, The NewsEditorComment

Transport

The Economist carries an excellent summary of the current demands on London's transport network and the efforts being undertaken to alleviate the pressure:

A hundred years ago London had the best infrastructure in the world. Its legacy is historically impressive but sometimes difficult to manage. Single-track Tube tunnels mean that breakdowns bring a line to a halt; curved tunnels and platforms, shaped by the Victorians’ inability to dig through the hardest rock, slow the system down.

For half a century after the second world war the city’s rail system mouldered. Making it work better was one of the main reasons why the Labour government created the post of mayor. It remains a serious bottleneck, so hosting the Olympics in the centre of the city was what Sir Humphrey, civil servant to the incompetent politician in the television comedy “Yes, Minister”, would have called a “brave” decision.

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The Mayor has begun his bid to take control of London's suburban rail networks, reports the Standard.

Olympics

Reuters notes that signs that the Games are coming are now popping up everywhere.

Strikes

After disrupting more than a third of London's bus routes during the last strike, parties are engaged in conciliation talks at Acas.

Should these fail, 24 hour strikes can be expected on Thursday and the 24 July. The PA gives a good summary of the reasons behind the strike:

The union is seeking £500 for each of its 20,000 members at 20 bus companies for working over the Games period, pointing out that other transport workers are being paid a bonus.

The union has added £100 to its claim for every day that a strike is held.

Let's hope that this is resolved quickly and sensibly.

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But bus workers aren't the only ones striking. Earlier this week TfL call-centre workers (and RMT members) staged a 24 hour walk-out in a dispute over holiday bans and the payment of bonuses. Londonist has more.

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The BBC reports that Unite have amassed a staggering £25m strike fund.

Airports

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership has published a report into air capacity problems in the UK. A Thames estuary solution is seen as being too expensive and taking too long. The BBC has a write up here and you can download the full report here (and executive summary here).