The capital’s official transport watchdog has called on London parliamentary candidates to support the management of all London’s “metro” rail services being devolved to the Greater London Authority, progress being made towards delivering Crossrail 2, and vehicle excise duty raised in London to be given to the Mayor for use in future road pricing schemes as part of a list of “ten key asks” of London parliamentary candidates.
London TravelWatch, which represents the interests of all transport users in the city, also wants candidates to “champion your local bus service”, to support the government’s step-free access programme for disabled people and to back additional policing of roads to help increase compliance with traffic rules.
The proposals form part of a list of “ten key asks“, which is completed by: the return of regulations allowing parking violations to be enforcement with the use of cameras; the staffing of all station “from first to last train”; the further simplification of London’s public transport fares system; and the continuation of the British Transport Police.
London TravelWatch points out that Transport for London has shown that the “concession model” used for managing the London Overground network has led to an improvement in services and draws attention to a recent “sharp fall in bus speeds” in London. On roads policing, it seeks the development of an “everyone should obey the rules” culture.
The proposals have been made in the context of a general election in which the main parties given relatively little attention to London or offered policies for issues of specific importance to the capital.
Labour is the only party to publish a manifesto specifically for London, along with similar documents for eight other regions and UK nations, but it contains no mention of Crossrail 2 or devolving rail service management or car tax. It does, however, pledge £585 million to convert the entire London bus fleet to electric and includes the capital in a general commitment to recruit more police officers.
The Conservatives’ national manifesto makes its own general police number pledge but while promising to give other “city regions” the powers and funds they need to upgrade their bus, tram and train services “to make them as good as London’s”, makes no commitment to help London upgrade its own services or to give London government greater control over them.
Only the Liberal Democrats have promised a “continued commitment” to Crossrail 2, along with HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. None of the three manifestos or Labour’s London document make any mention of road pricing and congestion charging.
Photograph by Omar Jan.
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