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Old July 23rd, 2005, 01:39 PM   #61
SleepyOne
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Why is Nick Taylor determined to turn this into a London vs the country slanging match?

All I have done is highligh very clearly three point on which it appears there is not a level playing field and which very severely hamper public transport provision outside of the capital.


Each part of the country should be treated equally and be afforded the same opportunities to improve their public transport as they see fit. For example....
  • Crossrail being financed to account for inflation whereas, inexplicably, tram systems around the country have seemingly NOT been afforded that same priviledge.
  • Be it light rail schemes within London being able to take advantage of rolling stock leasing arrangements due to (apparently) the more devolved administrative set up down there.
  • Be it a regulated bus system in London (again, not yet an option for busses outside of the capital) that has consequently been able to take advantage of obscene amounts of public subsidy.

And of course dont underestimate the lobbying power of the media and big business - witness how a regional story such as a tube strike makes national news for instance. All credit of course to Manchester's concerted efforts which have forced Metrolink up the political agenda somewhat.



All the above taken together with the sustained and substantial investment in public transport infrastructure over generations within London and the South East, is it any wonder that London's public transport useage (and hence its economic vitality and therefore its argument for further investment) is that much greater than anywhere else?

Labour have comprehensively FAILED the core cities where it comes to vital sub regional public infrastructure provision. This is a major issue and deserves to be highlighted time and again.


And then I went on to highlight how government policy is not remotely consistent or joined up - witness the contrary approach of the ODPM and the DfT.


As if this iniquitous set up wasn't bad enough but you have the ODPM and its local partners striving to regenerate the North and create joined-up, holistic strategies yet a Department for Transport that utterly fails to take into account the integral role of public transport provision and the real regenerative benefits that such investments can have in deprived areas.

Joined up government? Don't make me laugh.


These are relevant points and simply cannot be ignored. We are being sold short by Labour and this is not something I say lightly as a staunch supporter.

Last edited by SleepyOne; July 23rd, 2005 at 01:47 PM.
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 01:44 PM   #62
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One final point for nick-taylor.

Would you be so kind as to provide a breakdown of the figures of government spending in London and the South East as comapred to the rest of the country? I would put money on the outcome showing a greater proportion of government spending goes on benefits and social security (the side effects of an under performing local economy) than are spent on initiatives to boost the economy (such as provision of public transport)...... than you would find in London and the South East.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 01:55 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishman
most of London's tube and rail networks were built from private money.
Most of London's tube network was subsidised by Government money because it wasn't a commercially viable venture, yet the Government refuse to fund regional networks if their prices rise with inflation, even if they prove themselves to be profitable. Don't you see the contradiction?
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Old July 26th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird2
Most of London's tube network was subsidised by Government money because it wasn't a commercially viable venture, yet the Government refuse to fund regional networks if their prices rise with inflation, even if they prove themselves to be profitable. Don't you see the contradiction?
Every major city in the UK need a Assembley and Mayor like London, then things might start happening. Politicians tend to favour London because it is more important to the economy and also the fact that the politicians live and work most of their life in London, so take a personal share in any developments.

I'm quite suprised that Blair, Prescott and Brown haven't been favoring the North considering they were all born up there, and of course have their constiteuncy's up there. Besides, do ya really think the Conservatives would do good for the North, i doubt it.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird2
Most of London's tube network was subsidised by Government money because it wasn't a commercially viable venture, yet the Government refuse to fund regional networks if their prices rise with inflation, even if they prove themselves to be profitable. Don't you see the contradiction?
I think what Englishman was trying to say was that originally when the Victorians built most of the tube network it was done by private companies to make a profit. Some lines have been built since by governments as London has further expanded. The Victorians built very little sub-surface rail elsewhere in the UK. So perhaps private companies were also being biased against the rest of the country???

If you look around the developed world most large cities (say 3million plus) have mass transit. Cities of around the 1 million mark may have good mass transit, but that depends on the governments will to spend money on public transport. In the countries with good mass transit in their mid size cities you will probably find excellent transit in the large ones. The UK has a crumbling transit in its largest city (although now improving) and little in the mid sized ones (but now with some schemes coming on line).

I do not think there is a London bias only that there has been a bias against public transport across the UK for many years.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 01:54 PM   #66
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Well I dont particularly think Conservative would do much for the north, better chance with Labour, and maybe LD. Green Party would get transport sorted but maybe not other issues as much. Birmingham & Wolverhmapton, Liverpool & Birkenhead, Manchester & Salford, Leeds & Bradford, Newcastle & Gateshead and Sheffield & Rotherham should all have good infrastructure, but they don't. The public transport is poor in all these areas when compared to London. Glasgow has it a bit better, its transport is probably the 2nd best in the UK because of its suburban rail network. West Yorkshire has the lowest funding despite it has 2 of the UK's largest cities.
With crossrail, it will only make getting across London easier, in other words people can already get where they want if they plan it. In most other UK cities there are paces where theeres no other reliable option other than the car- £20bn would get a really good supertram network in 10 cities or more.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 12:19 AM   #67
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So all 4 pages of comment boils down to Northerners thinking they get a bum deal and Southerners are a bunch of spoilt whiners hogging all the money. While Southerners think Northerners are unbalanced by the massive chips on their shoulders and have their lips clamped firmly on Southerners tax revenue whinning about how it is all so unfair.

Sigh.

I think I try and stay out of this thread until I hear of something genuinely new. Then maybe we will have something new to say, instead of all this pseudo discussion where we highlights each others text, rips to them shreds and bitch about each other.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rational Plan
Northerners are unbalanced by the massive chips on their shoulders and have their lips clamped firmly on Southerners tax revenue whinning about how it is all so unfair.
Well isn't that the truth?
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Old July 28th, 2005, 10:48 PM   #69
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I have repeatedly highlighted three very clear points by which London's public transport infrastructure - both existing and proposed - is massively advantaged as compared to the rest of the country (which I have acknowledged is for a variety of reasons).

  • Crossrail being financed to account for inflation whereas, inexplicably, tram systems around the country have seemingly NOT been afforded that same priviledge.
  • Be it light rail schemes within London being able to take advantage of rolling stock leasing arrangements due to (apparently) the more devolved administrative set up down there.
  • Be it a regulated bus system in London (again, not yet an option for busses outside of the capital) that has consequently been able to take advantage of obscene amounts of public subsidy.


The most galling of which is the government's inexplicable and inexcusable (apparent) willingness to finance inflation costs associated with Crossrail but not for the various supertram proposals around the country. WHY??

Then I go on to highlight the chronic and damaging lack of joined up thinking throughout central government (witness the contrary policies of ODPM and DFT).

Not once has anyone within this thread come back with any reasoning for this state of affairs or any contrary argument. Perhaps because I am highlighting some uncomfortable truths for the likes of Rational Plan and the rest.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 10:58 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeds No.1
or the merseytram or Leeds supertram or any transport. Crossrail might be important but at least London is managing and people can get around easy enough.
huh, have you spent much time on london transport, its a total nightmare, the conditions are so bad that it would actually be illegal to transport cattle in the same conditions
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Old July 28th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #71
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no tram network has yet to actually make profit,, sheffields tram system is actually operating at a major loss and liverpool is losing out because of its own inadaquacies and the only reason cross rail is being funded is that it is only 50% is coming from the government with the other 50% from tfl and its investors whereas cities like liverpool rely on 100% from government funding (ironic given theyre rejecting 100s of millions worth of private investments)
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Old July 29th, 2005, 12:01 AM   #72
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pluss crossrail only fills half of the requirements set by the government for expansion of public transport in london, that shows just how much is actually needed, besides, manchester should hardly feel jealous, the entire metrolink has sprung up in around a decade (more or less) thats hardly underfunding. londons underground expansive though it is has taken over 100 years to develop, and most stations and trains have seen much better days with many running for between 40 and 60 years
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Old September 7th, 2005, 12:09 PM   #73
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Found this from CIOB International:

Having passed the historic milestone of the Second Reading of the Crossrail Bill in the House of Commons, Cross London Rail Links, a joint venture of Transport for London and the Department for Transport, is appointing consulting engineers and other specialists to carry out detailed design work for this £15 billion railway project. It will also be appointing a new chief executive.

As Crossrail’s acting chief executive Keith Berryman put it, the venture is now moving forward to establish a framework for the next stage of the operation, procurement of the engineering services required to take the design to a more detailed and inclusive level.

The current situation concerning the ‘hybrid’ legislation is that the Select Committee examining the Bill in the Commons is expected to start consideration of petitions against the Bill some time next month, a process that may go on well into the following year.

No construction activity will be possible until examination of the Crossrail Bill is completed in both Houses of Parliament and it receives Royal Assent, expected at the close of the 2006-07 Parliamentary session. Until then the project will not have any source of funding it can draw upon apart from that provided by the joint venture partners. It is understood that the Secretary of State for Transport will be making an advance of the order of £200 million to finance the initial stage of procurement, using his powers under the Transport and Works Act.

To recapitulate the scale of this huge building and civil engineering project, the central section of the line will require construction of 23 km of twin-bore full-size tunnels, running from Royal Oak west of Paddington in the direction of Stepney Green, where the line diverges north-east to Stratford and south-east towards the Royal Docks. Twin-bore tunnels are also needed between North Woolwich and Plumstead to take the south-eastern section of the route under the River Thames.

Whitechapel station facilities expanded
One important modification has been made to the scheme submitted in the Crossrail Bill. In the interests of integration with existing rail services, the station at Whitechapel in East London is to have a street level western ticket hall over the District Line platforms. There is also the possibility of an eastern ticket hall also at street level which will improve access at the other end of the station.

This is a sensitive area of the project. Strong opposition has been registered to the construction programme proposed in the Spitalfields area of London. Though not strictly required by the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, Crossrail has recently released to undisclosed recipients all the documents concerning construction of this part of the railway, seeking to establish in particular the engineering justification for the proposed shaft in Hanbury Street E1, named after one of the families owning the no longer active Truman Hanbury & Buxton brewery in Brick Street.

CIOB International readers will recall from previous reports on the Crossrail project that the Hanbury Street shaft is designed to act as an intermediate intervention and ventilation facility in the Spitalfields area. Its purpose is to enable emergency services and maintenance personnel to gain access to the running tunnels as well as to provide forced ventilation when required.

Without it, the engineers fear that some 18 months could be added to the tunnelling timetable and so put the project outside the six-year timetable for funding determined by the Department for Transport.

Voicing his opposition to Crossrail during the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons, George Galloway representing the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency was probably right when he quoted the belief of his supporters that Crossrail will never pay for itself. The same could be said about the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, except that the enormous economic advantages of the new high speed line are now becoming apparent.

Mr. Galloway urged the Secretary of State for Transport to drop the Whitechapel station from his proposals, on the grounds that people who live in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets are finding it difficult to obtain employment at Canary Wharf. This is the next station along the line and one would think that the improved facilities being proposed at Whitechapel would make it easier to find employment at a place being made more accessible.

Conversely, it seems apparent that removing public access to Crossrail at Whitechapel would have the opposite effect. Be that as it may, the improvements now being put forward will promote access to the whole of the London Underground network. There was no sign of any manifest opposition to the scheme when it was opened to public discussion at the Whitechapel Sports Centre as part of the project’s public engagement strategy.

Nick Raynsford, who is fast becoming the construction industry’s Parliamentary spokesman, saw the whole issue as one might expect from a quite different viewpoint. He accepts that two major infrastructure projects running in the capital at the same time – the London Olympics and Crossrail – will put pressure upon the capacity of the construction industry. with implications for prices and deployment of skills. He admitted there might be conflicts relating to sites needed for both Crossrail and the Olympics. But he urged Ministers not to allow challenges of this kind to be used as an excuse for further delay.

Conviction of the need for Crossrail seems to be the prevailing view in London and the South East. It was cancelled once before due to loss of nerve by the Government of the day. But the project’s power of resurgence is demonstrated by the support it enjoys ten years later at both at government level and in the business community. The resources argument needs to centre around the advantages of the scheme which is bound to justify itself in terms of economic growth. What Ministers now need to do is find financial mechanisms which will bring the cost to the Exchequer and the advantages to the community into some kind of balance.

Crossrail seeking new chief executive
The Crossrail company is to appoint a new chief executive to succeed Norman Haste. In the meantime the design and construction chief for the project will be Keith Berryman who as head of operations and development is responsible for Crossrail’s engineering operations. A civil and structural engineer, Mr. Berryman has spent the past 30 years on the design and construction of new railways including the Docklands Light Railway, West Coast Main Line, the Jubilee Line (London Underground) and Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway. Martin Buck, the new commercial manager, will be responsible for financial management, as well as for procurement and works agreements with contractors and consultants.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 12:49 PM   #74
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I think Crossrail is a good idea in theory but we all know that British business can't help but spculate the price of works up and up and up. It's what they do best. Look at the Channel Tunnel - an economic failure, next to the Eurostar - an economic success. If they'd run them as one company they might have a halfway normal company.
In my opinion, it should be state funded. So that the price can be frozen. People dont mind paying for things so long as they happen. They do not likethe money grabbing of private industry, which we know has a gloriously disastrous history of buggering up ouur public services.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 01:06 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJJEZ
I think Crossrail is a good idea in theory but we all know that British business can't help but spculate the price of works up and up and up. It's what they do best. Look at the Channel Tunnel - an economic failure, next to the Eurostar - an economic success. If they'd run them as one company they might have a halfway normal company.
In my opinion, it should be state funded. So that the price can be frozen. People dont mind paying for things so long as they happen. They do not likethe money grabbing of private industry, which we know has a gloriously disastrous history of buggering up ouur public services.

I'm caught between two stools on this.

Firstly public transport should not be judged on profit but the environment, transport and general economic growth that it brings.

However, at the sametime private people can play a big role in transport, just look at the development of the railways in the first place and if planned properly can make both money and provide a service.

Most of Zim's railway's were built by Cecil Rhodes yet has a massive effect in developing the economy.

I think there is a role for the private sector in the transport industry, such as providing services etc, but not in the maintanence of the track etc.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 01:30 PM   #76
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No construction activity will be possible until examination of the Crossrail Bill is completed in both Houses of Parliament and it receives Royal Assent, expected at the close of the 2006-07 Parliamentary session
I still find these timescales frustrating. There have already been numerous consultations. If concerns that are already known about, for example the construction activity around Spitalfields, are addressed why can't this project go ahead quicker? Get it signed off by the end of the 2005/06 session and it would be ready for the Olympics! This project will go ahead, there can be only so many options, somebody please take the decision.

I'm with Zim, private companies need to be involved. I say use the bond market to raise cash and get it built by one of the big construction groups to a contract managed by the bond holders. On completion it should be handed over to TfL / NetworkRail.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 11:37 AM   #77
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I said this would happen months ago

From this week's Wharf:

CROSSRAIL AIRPORT BID
Sep 22 2005


Alan Lodge


A TRANSPORT watchdog is calling on the Government to consider building a Crossrail station to serve London City Airport (LCA).

The London Transport Users Committee (LTUC), together with the Rail Passengers Council, is petitioning the House of Commons about several aspects of the Crossrail Bill, and the airport station is a major focus of the agenda.

Brian Cooke, chairman of the LTUC, said it was ``asking Parliament to insist that there should be provision to build a possible new station to serve the increasingly important London City Airport, as the line proposed actually passes underneath part of the airport.'' He added: ``We are concerned that some of the Bill is open to interpretation and would like to see clarification on certain issues.

``Crossrail will be, and should be, a crucial element in London's transport network, and we are keen to make sure that it is a railway for the 21st century and beyond.''

The £10billion Crossrail scheme has also been petitioned by bosses at nearby Greenwich Council, who want to see the route altered to include a station at Woolwich to serve the new communities being established in the area.

The proposed route already includes a station at Canary Wharf, in South Dock, behind the Barclays tower.

The deadline for petitions against the Crossrail Bill passed on Friday, September 16.

The biggest issue to be resolved remains that of funding.

Parliament is yet to make a decision on how much the Treasury will subsidise the Crossrail scheme and how much will have to come from the tax-payers.

Meanwhile, LCA has written to the Government to oppose the proposed later running of London Underground services.

Under the suggested new operating hours, the Tube would start an hour later in the morning and run later into the night.

But LCA says the later start in the morning would make it extremely hard for a lot of their employees to get to work on time.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 12:43 AM   #78
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The chances of extra stations being added at this stage are quite slim. Remember both the lewisham extension on the DLR and the Jubilee line extension had extensive lobbying to prevent Bermondsey, Southwark and Cutty Sark satations from being cut to save money. As Crossrail is on the surface near the City airport it will be relatively easy to leave passive provision there, But Woolwich would be very expensive. If they did build a station at City airport I suppose they could argue that Woolwich will have easy access via the DLR tunnel, commuters from the Suburbs will transfer at Abbey Wood anyway.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #79
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I doubt a LCY connection would be useful. Whenever I go/leave there only a handful of people take the shuttle bus of 69 to Canning Town, the DLR should provice sufficient capacity, frequency and speed for most travellers especially because the majority of airport users are likely to head for City and Canary Wharf anyway.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #80
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A city airport link would be good to provide faster links between airports.
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