Transport Planning for 2030

MQT on 2015-10-21
Session date: 
October 21, 2015
Question By: 
Richard Tracey
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Other than the building of Crossrail 2, how will TfL seek to ensure that London's transport can cope with a population of 10 million people by 2030?


Answer for Transport Planning for 2030

Answer for Transport Planning for 2030

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Thank you very much, Dick.  As we have been saying earlier on, there has been a huge amount done.  The Victoria Line and the Jubilee Line trains are now going to go up a frequency of 36 trains per hour as against about 27 trains per hour when I started, which is an incredible increase in the number of trains and the volume of people that we can carry.  London Overground is going up to five-car trains and we are increasing the frequency there.  We are doing huge capacity upgrades at Victoria and Bank, colossal projects.  I mentioned earlier on what is happening on the Piccadilly Line and the further Jubilee Line upgrades. 

There are a number of very big projects though coming down the track.  Crossrail 2 is the biggest item now on London’s agenda.  It is accepted across London government at all levels that this is the right project for the city and it will be with the eastern boroughs a fantastic driver of growth and jobs across northeast London and across the whole of the city with 200,000 new homes, 200,000 new jobs, benefits from the Solent to the Wash from Crossrail 2, and huge improvements for rail commuters coming in from Hampshire and from the southwestern area of the city.  Then there are another five big projects in addition to Crossrail 2 and new river crossings east of Silvertown.  You will know about the Silvertown Tunnel, the Bakerloo Line extension into southeast London, the Southern Tramlink and the new road tunnelling schemes.  The Roads Task Force is looking at two big tunnels, basically solving the problems left over by the failure to complete the Inner London Orbital in the 1960s, running east-west roughly from White City to Highbury Corner and then south of the river from Canada Water area to Clapham, providing London with a tunnelled South Circular, which is something the city has grievously lacked.

Then, of course, there is the completion of the whole Cycle Superhighway programme and I hope very much that whoever is here as Mayor - and I know Val [Shawcross CBE AM] asked a question about this last time - will drive that forward with all the urgency that the Assembly would want.

Richard Tracey AM:  I do welcome what you have said.  One thing I particularly want to pick up is the idea of the tunnelling because in your infrastructure plans, which were aimed particularly at 2050, you talked about this.  The South Circular Road is an absolute disgrace, which should be replaced as quickly as possible by tunnels now that we have all this tunnelling expertise.  The congestion on the roads in south London is really very bad.  You mentioned that the Inner Orbital network was not completed in the 1960s.  Surely now it is time to take this really very seriously and I hope you will urge TfL to talk to whomever your successor may be to do this.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.  I am grateful to you, Dick, for your support and your imagination on this.  It is a fantastic scheme.  This is something, as you can imagine, that I am discussing with the Government amongst many other things.  What they say is, “London, you have to choose.  What do you want?  Do you want Crossrail 2 or do you want all these tunnels?  What do you want?”  The answer at the moment is we want Crossrail 2 but we refuse to choose.  We will continue to fight for all these things.  If I had to prioritise, which I always hesitate to do, I want to see Crossrail 2 first.  I want to see Crossrail 2 in the ground by the end of the 2020s and, as that goes in, we should be moving forward with plans to ease congestion on the roads.

Richard Tracey AM:  There is one other point I should raise and that perhaps is either some staggering of peak time travelling or the other thing which was proposed by my colleague Roger Evans two or three years ago, which was more encouragement of homeworking and, therefore, the rush-hour pressure is relieved somewhat.  What do you think about doing some more on that?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I did that during the Olympics, I seem to remember.  I gave a series of deathly announcements on the Tube, which so panicked people that they stayed away from London in huge numbers.  Everybody rather blamed me for the slight air of desolation.

You have to be very careful how you do this.  People generally like to be in the company of other people and one of the paradoxes of technology is that the more people communicate by gizmos and share information and meet other people and all that, actually, the more they want to see them face-to-face.  We are seeing a huge increase in ridership of all kinds because people do not like sitting at home and drinking cups of coffee and going to the fridge.  They want to interact and they want to gossip and that is what transport does.  It is economically beneficial.

Richard Tracey AM:  Some of the personal contact at rush-hour can be a bit too close for comfort!

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes, but I am just describing the world as it is.  Yes, some people can achieve a lot at home and you can achieve a lot on the internet now, but in the end people want a face-to-face meeting and it is indispensable.

Richard Tracey AM:  Thank you.