Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [6]

Session date: 
September 17, 2003
Question By: 
Bob Neill
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Is not the greatest threat to the London Plan the fact that the transport infrastructure, which almost all sides of this Chamber would like to see implemented, is dependent significantly on central government funding? For this there has been absolutely no guarantee in respect of any one of the significant projects that London needs to go forward? How can we guarantee that that happens?

Do you think that that is therefore sensibly reflected in the inspectors' recommendation that the policy in this regard should be rewritten to show specifically the phasing of the transport infrastructure projects and specifically to set those limited number, which are in your gift, and that majority, which is in fact wholly in the gift of the Secretary of State?

Answer

Answer for Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [6]

Answer for Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [6]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Well, effectively. In the GLA, where 60% of the GLA budget comes from Central Government grant, everything is effectively in the control of the Government. Whoever is Mayor will always have to work with the government of the day on a broad consensus about where we are going. But I do think it is important to step back and look at what has been achieved. It is not that nothing has been done; the Government have identified and given us the funding and permission to start the construction of the DLR extension down to the City Airport. That is underway.

We are waiting their decision on the extension over to Woolwich. I have not the slightest doubt that that will be confirmed and that will go ahead. The Government has authorised the construction and identified the funding of the East London Line to be built down to West Croydon, down to Crystal Palace and also to Clapham Junction. That is the most extensive new Tube network that we have effectively had since the construction of the Victoria Line and we are, I think, locked into now and it would be inconceivable that the Government would not proceed with Crossrail.

We are close to identifying what looks like a very good way forward for the funding of the Thames Gateway Bridge, which would mean a very small direct immediate cost to Londoners and a very good deal. If that is established for the Thames Gateway Bridge, it would be something I would recommend to Government as a way for funding the various tram schemes that are coming up.

So it depends how you look at it. I look at it that it takes a bit longer than we would like but eventually we are getting there on the vast majority of these major transport projects. It might be that some of the tram extensions at the end of the day may not be built within the 15 years but I think the bulk of the projects we have identified will be constructed.