Mayor ‘Evasive’ Over Transport Projects

By BethPH Last edited 95 months ago
Mayor ‘Evasive’ Over Transport Projects

Completion of the Jubilee line upgrade and the Thames cable car remain shrouded in mystery after Boris Johnson declined to commit himself to dates during the Mayor’s Question Time.

The Jubilee line has been dogged by delays, failures and weekend closures after work ran more than a year behind schedule. Increased services originally planned for July are looking more likely to arrive in September though at least Boris promises us an end to weekend closures after the end of June. Fears remain that the line will still be affected during the Olympics - with a paucity of transport options in the east, it’s not a pleasant prospect to contemplate for visitors and commuters alike.

The cable car is more tricky; a failure to find private investment has meant that TfL could end up footing the bill which has apparently doubled to £57m from the original estimate. Details surrounding the cable car have always seemed to be a tad vague and the completion date is no different with the mayor telling the London Assembly that it will be open ‘when it’s good and ready’. Given that the cable car was intended to link two of the Olympic venues – Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Victoria Dock – Boris’s statement that the project isn’t tied to the Olympics seems curious.

The mayor’s reluctance to commit to deadlines isn’t a massive surprise; he’s been repeatedly criticised over ‘broken promises’ and while his sudden rushes of enthusiasm were entertaining, people tend to want something tangible out of it. Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group concurs:

‘For the mayor to state that the cable car will be completed when 'it’s good and ready' is totally unbelievable. It is simply staggering that the mayor is throwing around £57 million of public money at the Thames Cable Car yet is totally incapable of giving any assurance as to when it will be open. The mayor should get on top of this flagship project.’

Last Updated 19 May 2011