Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cross River Tram is dead. Crossrail might die. Long live the tube?

I made reference, yesterday, to the fact that Lambeth Council had mentioned the Cross River Tram in their Local Development Framework. I think, perhaps, that they forgot to remove it from the document because I doubt (sadly) that the scheme will ever come to fruition.

Today though, I spotted a rather interesting article article in the Evening Standard. The writer, Simon Jenkins, suggests that Boris should kill off Crossrail. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the "limited pot" (now "empty pot") of public money, one always knows that some Londoners will benefit through certain initiatives whilst others won't benefit at all (or will even become worse off). The Crossrail project is one example of a piece of transport that doesn't benefit South London at all. Due to my love of all things public transport, I'm not in a position to oppose it, but Simon's article has made me wonder... Apparently, TfL are close to bankruptcy, and unlikely to stump up their share of cash for Crossrail. If Boris were to eradicate the Crossrail project to plug the hole in his transport budget, Simon wonders whether he'd choose to plough that money into the tube.

The spare money in the pot from ditching Crossrail would be £5.6 billion.

And it was only the other day, (reported in Southwark News here) in early March at the London Assembly that Boris suggested "the potential of extending the Bakerloo Line for instance... is something we should drag onto the agenda". Do we think that any of the spare £5.6 billion could be channelled towards improving the tube connections in South London? It would be great to connect Camberwell, Peckham, Lewisham, Croydon and Brixton. How much does it cost to add tube stations and extend the lines? It certainly wouldn't cost that much to re-open Camberwell tube since the infrastructure is in already.

That would be a project which would mean South Londoners could stop asking "What has Boris ever done for us?"


Pstyle said...

Mayors recent transport strategy has taken fundgin away from rail related projects, and directed it to cycling.

Now if only the weather would get on the bandwagon . .

Anonymous said...

Crossrail has no benefit to South London? What about the improved services to Woolwich & Abeey Wood

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