Newslinks | 2nd August 2007

The NewsEditor

The State of Transport in London The International Herald Tribune paints a woeful picture of London's transport network:

Britons... are in a foul mood about air and other essential branches of the transportation system: rail, the roads and the Tube.

British drivers have to contend with the most crowded roads in Europe. London commuters suffer through frequent delays to subway services, despite paying up to £4, or $8, for a one-way ride in central London. Meanwhile, passenger groups complain that Britain's trains, despite years of significant investment, are crowded, slow and expensive.

As a result of these woes, analysts say, transportation is one of the few potential tripwires for an economy based on fast-moving, free-flowing global industries like financial services.After frustrating Tony Blair in his decade as prime minister, the issue now confronts his successor, Gordon Brown.

Mind the Investment Gap?

The BBC features a worthy examination of the Government's stalling over the Crossrail project:

"One of the biggest challenges for transport is Crossrail," Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling told business leaders last week.

The government was "committed" to the scheme, the ex-transport minister declared. But he pointed out that the scheme was "very expensive and before we can make a decision, we need to make sure it's affordable".

LondonUnlocked is preparing a full examination of Crossrail, and the alternatives to it, which will be posted soon. Meanwhile, this is a topic we shall follow closely.

Meanwhile, Contract Journal discusses the £2.5bn that will be needed to install air conditioning in the tube. LondonUnlocked has to ask if this is the best way to spend this badly needed money?