Is the transport 2020 vision a pitch for funds?

Boris Johnson Funding the mayor's vision will be a huge issue

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Boris Johnson's Vision 2020 for transport feels very much like a pitch document for funding.

The spending round looms and it looks like Transport for London (TfL) could face some big cuts.

The vision brings together what the mayor wants transport-wise until 2020.

Some of the ideas are a long way down the track anyway - such as Woolwich Crossrail Station.

Others are merely an idea the mayor supports, like the Thames Estuary airport.

Once again, the idea of a transport hub involving an airport and the DP World container port in the Estuary was outlined.

Huge costs

He also calls for the government to drop the idea of a third runway at Heathrow and for devolution of rail services.

Mr Johnson also wants 2,000 new buses for London by 2020 and a Hammersmith flyunder, possibly with tolled tunnels elsewhere.

An extension of the Bakerloo line is also on the list.

You won't find many in the capital criticising these ideas but the mayor's opponents say it is too little, too late plus, the costs would be huge and need a massive government contribution.

The big question is funding and, in the short-term, what happens if the government cuts the budget?

There were no answers to my questions on that from the mayor.

One bit of the report highlights the issues around funding, and the difficulties there are for making a case.

On the one hand TfL says investment is desperately needed and efficiencies must be driven through.

On the other it is introducing more staff, with the mayor saying he's willing to pay for them to make Londoners feel safer.

The mayor wants 2,000 new buses for London by 2020, that would cost about £200m more than if he bought off the shelf hybrids. He says it is worth it as they are greener.

But 2000 new buses would mean 2000 conductors and the cost of that per year could top £110m if you use previous estimates from the Greens on the Assembly.

So which part of the argument will be listened to?

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Route 24 goes "Boris Bus" on June 22nd, route 11 in September, many more over the next two years. Because Boris chose to use a British company, the Northern Ireland based Wrightbus, they're taking some time as they need to build them and keep other vehicle building commitments across the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    2. Montgomery Jack
    Thanks! Good to see one will be on a route I regularly use

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Please do NOT refer to the BORISMASTER bus as a new ROUTEMASTER. It is nothing like the iconic vehicle that served London so well for 45 years. Its classic lines and engineering simplicity made it an Icon of Design. I would love to see that BBC2 series again. The series also included a programme on the 1957 Black Austin / Carbodies TaxiCab, which showed my father's large body panel Powerpress.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    A line from the report "London will see the opening of the London Gateway 'superport’ in the lower reaches of the Thames Estuary -..."

    It's an interesting perspective that Boris seems to regard Thames Haven as in the 'lower reaches' of the Thames Estuary. Is this part of the plan to con east Londoners that they would not be under the take-off flight path of a Thames airport?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Where are all the new Routemasters? I've only seen them introduced on the no. 38 route



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