The Mayor has released his draft budget for 2013/14. Perhaps unsurprisingly, not everyone's happy with the contents - Labour's John Biggs has called the text 'an insult to Londoners.' The Mayor, and his people, have defended the document robustly. In terms of transport spending, TfL will lose £134m from the Mayor's office, but £300m is being pledged direct to other transport projects.
Inside are listed the Mayor's priorities for transport:
- a 30 per cent improvement to Tube reliability between 2011 and 2015;
- upgrading the Northern and Sub-Surface Tube lines;
- adding an additional carriage to all London Overground trains;
- removing pinch-points on the DLR and Tramlink networks;
- upgrading the stations at Tottenham Court Road, Bank, Victoria, Paddington and Bond Street;
- continuing to deliver Crossrail, which will transform rail capacity and journey times;
- improving the experience for customers through contactless-bank-card payments across all TfL services;
- delivering 600 New Bus for London vehicles as part of a programme to introduce 1,600 hybrid buses by 2016;
- improving access for all in London by making 90 per cent of bus stops accessible; and
- making cycling safer and more attractive by improving the safety of London’s roads for all users.
Laudable aims all, especially the last one around making cycling safer. It would be good, however, to have some more detail codified into the document. How about:
- bringing the cable car system into wider public use by including it in the travelcard
There are plenty of others which could be added, of course, but this site will always argue that if interesting schemes such as the AirLine are allowed to wither on the vine then it will be very difficult for the politicians of the future to be bold and think differently about transport. Adding the AirLine to the travelcard will boost numbers and show what the real demand for the service is.
You can download the full budget document here.