By Max Clarke
Transport for London (TfL) has published its Business Plan, helping to secure the London Underground's largest investment in over 80 years.
Improvements to be introduced by TfL include a 21% capacity boost for the Victoria Line and a 20% boost for the Northern; new trains for Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines; at the same time as delivering savings of £7.6 billion- revised upwards from initial target of £5 billion.
During the next four years a huge programme of investment will see three Tube lines fully upgraded with new trains on five lines, major progress on Crossrail, the completion of the London Overground network, traffic flow smoothed, the completion of the Barclays Cycle Superhighways and extension of Barclays Cycle Hire, and the maintenance of London's frequent, reliable and accessible bus network.
“Through negotiations, savings and efficiencies we have done what many believed to be impossible,” said London mayor Boris Johnson.
“We have secured the greatest investment in London's transport network in 80 years which will deliver Crossrail, the Tube upgrades, the completion of the London Overground network and the continuation of the cycling revolution, while protecting front line passenger and customer services,” continued Boris.
Bob Crow, General Secretary for the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, voiced, not for the first time, his strong opposition to Mayor Johnson’s views and released the following impassioned statement:
"With the tube lurching from crisis to crisis it defies belief that Boris Johnson and his officials are jacking up their cuts target from £5 billion to £7.6 billion. These new cuts will drag the underground even deeper into the spiral of decline with breakdowns, failures and disruption a daily fact of life.
"We can expect a threat to hundreds more jobs while maintenance takes another hit, turning the underground into a death trap and a criminals’ paradise. Security and safety will be compromised in the run up to the Olympics and RMT is demanding a halt to this cuts carnage beneath the London streets out into the suburbs before it is too late."