Thursday, 26 June 2008

Mayor's Question Time

Since coming to power, Boris Johnson has taken part in two Mayor's Question time sessions. You can read his written answers here and here. Lots of predictable non-answers to awkward questions, but a few interesting things come up:

  • The East London Line phase 2 extension does not have funding. If it does get it, the target opening date is December 2011.
  • London-wide Oyster PAYG on National Rail is now officially pencilled in for mid-2009 (the January 2009 date has seemed unlikely for some time).
  • London Overground carried 29% more passengers in its first 5 months than Silverlink did in the equivalent period a year before.
  • Feasibility studies for the Oxford Street Tram will not be going ahead. This answer is notably more negative than that given to the other tram schemes (which are merely "under review"), so don't expect it to happen in the foreseeable future.
  • On Cross River Tram, Boris notes "the Government’s 2007 spending review allocation of funds to TfL to 2017 did not provide for the implementation of CRT". It's looking like time to cross that one off the list as well.
  • A North London Line extension to Kingston is officially off the table (if it was ever on it).
  • Not transport-related, but I think question 1052 (in the second document) may be some sort of secret of code.
I've also listened to some of the webcast of the June 18th meeting. About an hour in there's a long discussion of the Routemaster/bendy bus replacement project, which Boris sounds very keen on pushing ahead with.

During the discussion an assembly member points out that the first wave of bendy bus contracts comes up for renewal next year, which will put the Mayor in a very awkward position. He could renew them (can't do that), replace them with double deckers (not enough capacity) or replace them with lots of double deckers (increasing congestion). An issue to watch, certainly.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not transport-related, but I think question 1052 (in the second document) may be some sort of secret of code.

I think this is code for "The Daleks will attack earth this weekend"

Anonymous said...

Re:1052 I think you're reading too much into this. A web quick trawl brings up:
Boris' blog

But on second thoughts - it does make you think that Boris is planning a "thunderbirds" style quick exit using the portrait, in case things get too hot in city hall!

Groupie said...

I expect nothing much of you but Boris please just sort out the funding for ELL phase 2 and complete any planned works on the rest of the system...please?!

Who has more say over the ELL phase 2 - DfT or TfL?

Al Fresco said...

The minutes of yesterday's TfL Board Meeting have been released: http://tinyurl.com/6nruw6

Dazz285 said...

"London Overground carried 29% more passengers in its first 5 months than Silverlink did in the equivalent period a year before."

I wonder out of that 29% more how many paid??? Even though the LUL sections are ment to be staffed not ALL are barriered. Also alot of the rest of the Overground sections do NOT have barriers..

Mwmbwls said...

So does this mean that Mayor Livingstone was not telling the truth to the electorate of London during the Alastair Stewart interview abot having receiving the ELL phase two finance or is the Governmenment peeved by perverse voters electing the wrong candidate for London now now trying to stuff Boris. Either way will the Silwood connection be built as part of phase one to save disruption on the newly reopened line.
PS Any progress on GE19?

Anonymous said...

groupie - the ELL phase 2 is now seen as a good way of dealing with some of the after effects of Thameslink (namely London Bridge terminal platform capacity reduction), so TfL are hoping that DfT will now help fund it. The NR route strategies and business plans support this view IMO.

MS

Anonymous said...

Dazz, surely all that 29% paid because that is how the statistics have been recorded?

Unless a poor TFL functionary has been dispatched to count heads on 313's.

Phase Two will be very quick if it will be done by December 2011! Surely if it is so close to the Phase One fully opening(2011 to Highbury/Islington) they must be expecting the funding.

To be honest, if they don't get it, it does completely undermine the whole concept because it will be a circle with a ruddy great gap in it.

Martin_Petrov said...

Dazz - Re Circle with a hole in it - it's never actually going to work as a "circle" line anyway, given no trains coming east into Higbury and Islington will go south of Dalston Junction.

I also believe that even if Phase 2 is built, there will be an equivalent 'break' such that trains coming along the phase 2 section won't go up the line north of Clapham.

Dazz285 said...

Also at the Clapham end the service from Willesden will use platorm 1 and the service from south of the river will use platform 2.

Al fresco said...

On a similar theme to MQT - it seems that the GLA Transport Committee questioned Peter Hendy & Boris's new Director of Transport policy yesterday too: Details at http://tinyurl.com/5n94wj
(Webcast of the event at: http://tinyurl.com/5obngd).

Anonymous said...

I was aware of that Martin_Petrov, but the fact is, with it completed interchange is FAR easier and it does really join up disconnected dots in South London.

Improving the transport infrastructure of South London should always be a priority IMO. The gloom for CRT isn't great news either, transport blackspot around Camberwell remains...

Will said...

Anonymous (5)
Unless a poor TFL functionary has been dispatched to count heads on 313's.

At around the beginning of TFL control I did see a few staff counting heads and asking where all the passengers were going.

Anonymous said...

CRT was silly anyway - a cheaper cop-out for not extending the Bakerloo. This should now be moved higher up the agenda - was this enquired about in the BoJo session?

Groupie said...

Re: CRT being a cop-out for not extending the tube into south London. Spot on anonymous. I also wondered why it largely followed the northern line CX branch when that isn't really at capacity.

Extensions from Kennington and Elephant should be priorities as you said.

sheermarq said...

I agree with groupie - the south eastern extension to this lightly used portion of the bakerloo line is a better proposal than the CRT.

Had a look through the latest TFL board papers and the commissioners report again refers to construction already underway at Imperial wharf - does anyone have an update on this. The report may not be completely accurate if page 11 is anything to go by. It tells us there are going to be three new stations on the East London line called 'Halton', 'Hagerstown' and 'Dalton Junction'

Anonymous said...

Having travelled past Imperial Wharf yesterday, it didn't appear any building work had started.

Anonymous said...

You probably can't tell who I am because I'm anonymous, but some time ago I suggested another use for the Bakerloo line is to build an extension to follow the Old Kent Road to New Cross. From there, there's the possibility of going to Greenwich and/or taking over the Bexleyheath line and suddenly one of the 6 boroughs not served by the Underground is served.

Without the CX and Edgware branches, the Northern line (Morden-Bank-Barnet) could do with some new ones. As well as the Battersea Power Station one, there's also possibilities of building branches to Mitcham and Streatham, both less well-off areas that would appreciate being on the tube map. Then there's the extension to Sutton as well to consider.

Not in South London, but there's the Alexandra Palace branch which could be a cheap option: existing trackbed, and no tunnels but it would link up Muswell Hill. For a bit extra money, you could link up to the mainline station and the tube station at Wood Green.

Anonymous said...

(This is the same anonymous user speaking)

The other important thing is to improve Interchanges between the NLL, SLL and GOBLIN. I don't understand quite what is wrong with the Shoreditch Central Line tube station: yes it would cost money but not only would it provide a 'way in' to central London from Haggerston and Hoxton, but it's about time Shoreditch had a good tube service as well.

And of course there's other gaps to plug as well as Eastfields, such as between Chingford and Highams Park.

Anonymous said...

anon - I'm fairly sure there is no Shoreditch Central line interchange because they believe it would be too popular, given the existing CL pax numbers. Although the 'high cost' and the 'yet another stop slowing down the journey for existing pax' excuses seem to be those generally mentioned. Perhaps if Crossrail meets the aim of removing pax from the Central line it could be looked at again one day...

MS

Anonymous said...

Surely the excuse of something being too popular is a completely twisted and wrong mentality - I've heard this noted as a reason for not extended the Bakerloo south to Camberwell. If there is believed to be such a high demand isn't that an indication that *something* needs to be done.

Incidently, the Alexandra Palace branch to the Northern line that's mentioned would require, at the very least, bulldozing some housing and at least one school. I think that trick was missed along time ago....

Anonymous said...

Let's see, there are buildings (not housing) on the western side of Muswell Hill Road which would have to be tunnelled under or resited. Then there is a primary school at Muswell Hill but if the track alignment was careful, it could avoid the field or at the least only remove a couple of metres from it.