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Brown must take blame for public transport mess, says Boris

PUBLISHED: 00:39 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:15 05 October 2010

THE Mayor of London today blamed the Government for “inflicting” private funding on London’s public transport which has meant scraping several desperately-needed schemes. Boris Johnson intends banging on the door of 10 Downing Street to press Gordon Brown to take responsibility for the privatisation’ he says is wrecking much of London’s public transport

By Mike Brooke

THE Mayor of London today blamed the Government for “inflicting” private funding on London’s public transport which has meant scraping several desperately-needed schemes.

Lower projections for fare revenue caused by the recession as well as the collapse of Metronet means some major projects put on the back burner.

So Boris Johnson intends banging on the door of 10 Downing Street to press Gordon Brown to take responsibility for the privatisation’ he says is wrecking much of London’s public transport.

BEAST OF METRONET’

“We have done our best to balance the books in an extremely tough economic climate,” said Boris.

“The ramifications of the failure of the beast that was Metronet have become increasingly clear.

“We need the Government to take responsibility for the Public-Private partnership’ that it inflicted on London.

“The Government needs to provide the support to improve London’s transport—so I will be relentless in making the case that it should not let projects falter.”

One casualty announced today is icing the Greenwich Waterfront tramway scheme in south-east London, following the Mayor’s decision earlier this year to scrap the Thames Gateway Bridge at Beckton.

£2.4bn CUTS

Meanwhile, transport bosses at City Hall have announced £2.4 billion cuts in their nine-year Business Plan to free funds for urgently-needed projects that can’t wait.

The cuts were revealed in Transport for London’s £9.2bn budget for 2009-10.

But they mean funding for urgent projects can be ring-fenced.’

These include the massive Crossrail super tube’ linking East London, Essex and North Kent with the City, West End and Heathrow Airport, as well as starting work on the new Isle of Dogs station at Canary Wharf.

Other vital schemes being protected include the East London Line extension to complete the Overground network’s orbital Outer Circle’ line skirting round the capital and extending the DLR and Overground ready for the 2012 Olympics at Stratford.


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