Tube travellers face 15 years of disruption

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The London Underground will be disrupted every weekend for the next 15 years because of engineering, and bus fares will rise by more than 34 per cent, the Mayor said yesterday.

The London Underground will be disrupted every weekend for the next 15 years because of engineering, andbus fares will rise by more than 34 per cent, the Mayor said yesterday.

Ken Livingstone said that both Tube and bus fares would increase by more than inflation over five years to help pay for £10bn worth of transport improvements.

The Mayor had already announced a 10 per cent "real" rise in bus fares, but yesterday he disclosed that there would be similar increases over the following two years. Rises over the two years after that would be 2 per cent above inflation.

He said Tube fares would rise by 1 per cent above the increase in the retail price index over the five years of his transport plan.

Mr Livingstone said that over the next 15 years "there won't be a weekend when there is no disruption somewhere on the Tube system". The Mayor said the aim was to replace the entire track and signalling system. He said weekend work was better than closing routes for weeks on end. "We can't keep putting these things off. I am not going to pass the buck to my successor."

Some £3bn of the investment will be funded through borrowing after a ground-breaking deal with the Government, which had resisted accumulation of debt by local authorities.

Some £4bn will come from the public-private partnership for London's Underground and the remaining £3bn will be funded by state grants and revenue surpluses.

The money will be spent on projects already announced by Mr Livingstone, including extensions to the Docklands Light Railway, new Tube routes and a bridge linking Greenwich and Newham, and an improved Croydon Tramlink. The Crossrail scheme to link east and west London was not included, but the Mayor said he was confident it would go ahead.

Mr Livingstone said that a Bill to enable the project to go ahead would be passed before the next election. "I would bet any amount of money that it will be built,'' he said.

Comments