The real face of London Tories

07 November 2008

Keith Norman says that the ‘real face of Conservatism’ was exposed today as Boris Johnson announced the cancellation of £3.7 billion of London transport improvements planned by Ken Livingstone. ‘Predictably, the poorer areas of the capital will suffer most,’ Keith says.


The new mayor is to combine increasing fares above inflation for the coming eight years with dropping ten planned transport initiatives. The cuts will have particular impact on the East End and especially the Thames Gateway. ‘It looks as if 100,000 homes will be built that will have no transport infrastructure,’ the general secretary commented.


The cancelled projects include


· The £500 million Thames Gateway Bridge which was planned to relieve congestion on other river crossings in East London (and which had had already been granted £350 million of government-backed funding)


· Plans to bring back trams to Central London after a 50-year absence. The Cross River Tram would have run over the river between Euston and Waterloo


· The extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Dagenham Dock


· The £170 million Crystal Palace link in Croydon’s tram network.


· Plans to replace Oxford Street’s diesel buses with an electric tram.


· Proposals to create more pedestrian space on London’s major squares.


‘This is a terrible blow for the people of London and for the future of transport in the capital,’ Keith says. ‘The Mayor simply says that ‘there isn’t the funding’ – but I would argue that transport improvements are things you can’t afford not to do. Scrapping the trams plans is especially short-sighted and foolish.


‘These slashes in public services in London are a warning about what could happen nationally should people of Boris’ views and outlook form a government in the future.’

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