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Reports may be downloaded, free of charge, in PDF and RTF formats - the site help page provides information about these formats.
For further information on any of the reports below, please contact the Scrutiny Manager - see the Transport Committee contacts page.
Streets ahead: Relieving congestion on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street
Our report says various schemes to reduce traffic congestion and improve the pedestrian experience in one of the world’s premier shopping destinations may not be enough, prompting a call for more radical thinking. At the heart of the problem is the conflict between the need to provide a pleasant shopping and leisure environment, and meeting the demand for transport links through the West End.
To address this conflict, the report calls on the Mayor to work with Transport for London (TfL) and Westminster Council to assess the feasibility of re-routing buses to reduce the number that travel through the area, should current plans prove inadequate. Longer-term solutions like providing a shuttle bus along the length of Oxford Street, or pedestrianising the area between Oxford Circus and Bond Street should also be properly assessed.
The report also calls on TfL to undertake a comprehensive review of the transport provision in the area as a whole, including the impact of Crossrail. If a shuttle bus is introduced, or there is extensive re-routing of bus routes, TfL should also consider the potential for more flexible ticketing arrangements so passengers do not end up paying more if they switch buses.
The future of London's buses
Our report poses a number of questions to the Mayor about how he will guarantee the future of the capital’s world-class bus service despite large cuts to the bus subsidy. It captures a range of views expressed at a seminar hosted by the Committee on 8 December 2009 to debate both the benefits of the bus service and how any changes to it would impact on Londoners.
In light of the seminar findings, the Committee calls on the Mayor to respond specifically to the following questions:
The seminar transcript and research commissioned by the Committee into the utility of bus services are also available to view:
The Mayor’s Transport Strategy needs to set out how the difficult decisions needed to provide an efficient, low-carbon transport network over the next decade and beyond will be made. The Transport Committee’s response highlights concerns that overcrowding, congestion and carbon emissions will not be tackled effectively without further intervention from the Mayor. It follows the Committee's response to the Mayor's Transport Strategy: Statement of Intent, published in July 2009.
In the reality of restricted resources – particularly funding and road space – and a growing population, the Strategy should set out the Mayor’s thinking in relation to the difficult decisions he and his successors will face. These decisions include setting future fares levels; the relative priority of the stalled step-free access programme compared to schemes to provide additional capacity; balancing the flow of vehicles against the movement and safety of buses and pedestrians; and the potential for financial incentivisation schemes to encourage people to change the way they travel.
Follow up to 'Slipping up? Impact of the extreme weather on London Transport'
The Committee wrote to Southeastern Trains following disruption to services on 6, 7 and 8 January 2010 owing to adverse weather:
In addition, the Committee wrote to all of the trains operating companies that provide rail services in London about disruption to services during this period:
(Slipping up? Impact of the extreme weather on London Transport was published in March 2009.)
Our report documents the passenger experience on the London Underground, capturing how the stress and frustrations of overcrowding and line closures affect peoples’ behaviour and travel choices. It calls for a different approach to how overcrowding and upgrade works are managed by London Underground in order to improve the situation for passengers.
A survey of Tube users highlights the impact on people during morning peak hours, when some trains are carrying more than four people per square metre. Detailed interviews with Tube users also identified ‘coping strategies’ people adopt on overcrowded trains, from becoming more ruthless to ‘shutting down’.
The report highlights ways the passenger experience could be improved, including ensuring new trains make the most of the best available designs, and providing clear ‘traffic light’ information about crowding levels and details of alternative routes. The Committee recognises the ongoing investment programme will create much-needed extra capacity on the Tube, but calls for changes to the way upgrade works are procured and carried out in order to minimise disruption.
The Committee commissioned consultants Andrew Irving Associates to undertake research into passengers’ experiences of overcrowding and line closures:
The Committee took evidence from key players like London Underground and maintenance contractor Tube Lines, as well as the Metro de Madrid.
This letter from Committee Chair Caroline Pidgeon to TfL raises concerns that current plans to increase capacity at London Bridge station do not include extending all the platforms for twelve carriages. It highlights the Committee’s recent report, The Big Squeeze: Rail overcrowding in London, which urged the Department for Transport to fully extend all platforms at London Bridge as part of the Thameslink project.
In June 2009, the Chair of the Transport Committee wrote the Managing Director of London Rail at TfL, to request information about the withdrawal of plans for a Victoria to Bellingham train service from 2012. The Victoria to Bellingham service would have partially replaced the South London Line service, which is being withdrawn in 2012 because of changes at London Bridge for the Thameslink project. Ian Brown, Managing Director of London Rail responded to this letter on 23 June 2009.
Our response sets out the Transport Committee's views of the Mayor's Statement of Intent document, which outlines his initial thoughts on a new transport strategy for London.
Although Transport for London (TfL) has installed over 53,000 new cycle parking spaces across London since 2000, the number of trips by bike has almost doubled over the same period – and the Mayor wants to see the rate double again by 2025. He is making £2 million available to fund an increase in secure cycle parking – but even TfL is concerned this might not be enough.
The report calls for TfL to publish a clear strategy that covers every aspect of cycle parking provision in London, including an assessment of demand, proposals for new locations, and how available funding will be allocated. It makes a number of recommendations to improve provision, including calling on boroughs to conduct cycle parking audits and for TfL to publish a cycle parking strategy for consultation by the end of the year.
Responses to a survey of Londoners conducted as part of the investigation are available to view below.
Transport Committee's letter to the Director of London Underground
Richard Parry's response is also available to view.
The potential for more 20mph limits in London in order to reduce road casualties should be fully explored through a borough-led pilot programme, according to our report, published the same week as the Government announced proposals to reduce speed limits on residential roads.
The report found that in areas of London where 20mph zones have been introduced by boroughs and Transport for London (TfL), there has been a 42 per cent reduction in casualties. The report concludes that implementing a borough-wide default 20mph limit all at once may prevent more casualties and prove more cost-effective than the current piecemeal approach of introducing individual zones.
In order to thoroughly test the case for borough-wide limits, the report urges the Mayor to examine diverting some Transport for London’s £63 million road safety budget to support a borough-led pilot programme from 2010/11. It calls on the Mayor to report back to the Committee by October 2009.
While the PPP investment in the London Underground has been critical to keeping the network up and running, a looming funding crisis may see further planned improvements shelved or severely delayed, our report reveals.
The report assesses the current situation on the Underground, and highlights the most serious risks to the upgrade programme as a result of the current wrangle over costs between Transport for London (TfL) and maintenance contractor Tube Lines. It calls for TfL to revise its current 2009-2017 Business Plan to take into account the increasing costs of the upgrade works and for TfL and London Underground to be more open and accountable about progress made – or not made.
Following a lively public session with Dial-a-Ride users, the Transport Committee wrote to Mayor Boris Johnson, Chair of Transport for London (TfL), to highlight a number of concerns about the service.
The session on how well the Dial-a-Ride service is performing saw Transport Committee members questioning representatives from TfL, Unite and Transport for All, before giving the floor to around 30 Dial-a-Ride users who attended the meeting.
The main issues raised by users about Dial-a-Ride - a free a free door-to-door transport service run by TfL for disabled people - were around availability, punctuality, a lack of flexibility, and problems with the centralised booking system. These concerns support the findings of the Committee’s survey of Dial-a-Ride users, to which around 200 people responded. While the survey shows that many disabled people receive a good service from Dial-a-Ride, 40 per cent rated the service as poor or very poor.
The following letter was received from TfL in response to our findings:
Better coordination between the boroughs, Transport for London (TfL) and the emergency services could have resulted in more effective preparation for – and a faster recovery from - the extreme disruption caused by heavy snow in early February.
Our report summarises findings about how London’s key agencies responded to the extreme weather on 1st and 2nd February 2009. The findings are based on written evidence and a hearing with Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy and Chris Duffield, the Chairman of the London Resilience Local Authority Panel London, which has responsibility for the London boroughs’ 'GOLD' command.
While the report acknowledges that disruption to the transport network was inevitable given the extreme and unusual weather conditions, the Committee’s investigation highlights a number of areas that must be improved should London face a similar situation again.
TfL welcomed the Committee's report, saying it broadly agreed with the recommendations made. TfL's response is available to view.
The London Regional Resilience Forum published its debrief on the severe weather in May 2009.
The Big Squeeze
Our report says short-term cuts to rail services as the recession bites must not be allowed to jeopardise long-term efforts to reduce overcrowding on trains. It acknowledges that the recent rise in passenger numbers is slowing down, prompting train operating companies to reduce services, but says the slowdown will be temporary and substantial growth is still expected in the long-term. If mishandled, reductions in services or failure to secure investment for new rail infrastructure now could mean that overcrowding on trains could be worse than ever when passenger numbers start to rise again.
The report maps the top 20 busiest routes into London and identifies the worst ‘pinch point’ stations on these routes, where commuters are often unable to board trains that are already overcrowded before they reach the outskirts of the capital.
It recognises that there is no single answer to overcrowding and calls on the Mayor to set out his proposed mix of solutions when he publishes his transport strategy later this year.
The evidence received by the Committee during the investigation is available to view:
The letters below were received in response to this report:
This is our response to initial proposals for the future of the capital’s transport network, outlining a number of areas for further consideration to ensure the Mayor’s transport plans meet London’s needs. It is intended to complement Transport for London’s ongoing work and help shape the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy, due for publication in April.
The Committee's detailed response is based on discussions with a variety of transport experts and the Mayor’s Director of Transport Policy.
This report captures a range of expert views on the prospects for the proposed Cross River Tram, which would connect north and south London via Waterloo Bridge. The report summarises the submissions made by guests at a seminar the Committee held to explore ways of boosting north-south transport links in the capital, and review the case for the tram, which is not currently funded beyond the initial design phase.
The report also makes recommendations that were supported by a majority of Committee Members, calling on Transport for London to:
The Transport Committee convened 'Driving Change: A half-day seminar exploring new solutions to traffic congestion in London' on 12 February 2008 to consider what mixture of policies can be applied to reduce and manage traffic congestion in London. Our five expert speakers addressed crucial questions about the nature of traffic congestion and its effects. This report is intended as a record of the proceedings of the event.
A background paper was produced to set the scene for the seminar by drawing together key information on the current situation in London and predicted stresses on the road network, as well as providing an overview of measures to reduce congestion.
This letter calls on Transport for London to stop delaying and draw up plans for an integrated door-to-door transport system for the capital's elderly and disabled people.
The letter seeks to inform TfL's forthcoming review of door-to-door transport.
Representatives from user groups and service providers told the Transport Committee that current arrangements with numerous door-to-door service providers - all with different eligibility and entitlement criteria - are confusing and difficult to use. There is also a lack of consistence in the quality, reliability and availability of the services across the capital.
Minicab drivers who illegally tout for hire should lose their private hire licences after three convictions for touting, according to our report. It says good work by the Cab Enforcement Unit has led to 3,800 arrests for touting and a 46 per cent reduction in cab-related sexual offences over the last five years. But it warns against complacency, revealing seven cab-related sexual offences are committed every month. Only black cabs are allowed to ply for hire on the streets, yet many Londoners are still unwittingly taking risks by catching rides with thousands of licensed and unlicensed touts driving around the capital.
The report calls for changes to the licensing system to ensure the Public Carriage Office has a record of where licensed drivers are working. It recommends resources are focussed on small operators who set up premises and obtain a licence, but then actively tout outside their office. The report says their premises should be closed down and licences revoked if they are found touting. Committee Members also called for an email address, phone number and text service to be set up so private hire and taxi drivers can report illegal activity quickly and easily.
The following letter was received in response to this report:
Despite relatively low levels of crime on buses, our report reveals crime rates remain higher than two years ago and passengers feel less safe on London’s buses than any other form of public transport. There were over 2 billion passenger journeys in London last year and approximately only one crime for every 50,000 journeys. However, the rate of crime – defined as the number of crimes per passenger journey – while recently decreasing, remains higher than two years ago.
The Committee commends many of the recent initiatives by TfL to reassure passengers. However, it questions whether sufficient consideration was paid to how the free travel scheme for young people would be regulated and its effect on other bus passengers when it was introduced in 2005. The Committee has asked TfL to report back on new free travel enforcement after six months. The Committee also calls on TfL to take further steps including: improving the use of CCTV and exploring the potential for live-streaming; giving additional powers to Revenue Protection Officers and Transport Police Community Support Officers; and recognising the essential role of the driver and training them appropriately.
The following letter was received in response to this report:
Response to the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill
Around 250,000 sports fans travel into, out of and across London every autumn weekend – causing major congestion and delays on public transport, bringing roads around major stadiums to a standstill and disrupting the lives of local residents. Our report identifies a number of innovative approaches to stadium travel that have the potential to greatly improve the experiences of fans and local residents both now and during the 2012 Olympics:
There was an unnecessary lack of openness and transparency while the future of the Blackwall Tunnel tidal flow was being considered, according to the London Assembly. This report says it appears that Transport for London (TfL) had been considering ending the tidal flow from October 2005, as recommended in a Capita Symonds report. This became a real possibility in September 2006 when the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) raised safety concerns.
However, TfL neglected to properly consult with the boroughs that would be affected until just a few days before the tidal flow was suspended on 17 April 2007. TfL claim they suspended the tidal flow earlier than planned because of an accident, but this only brought the suspension forward by a few days. In addition, the decision was only officially made available to the public the day after it had ceased – meaning there was no advanced notice to motorists.
A number of recommendations are made in the report, including:
London’s rail services will not cope with future demand unless there is significant investment, according to our report.
Three quarters of all UK rail journeys start or end in the capital, yet our report highlights the large disparity in subsidy between the amounts London receives, compared to the rest of the country. The report says a third of rail services to London exceed the guidelines for overcrowding and this, together with passenger dissatisfaction and fares, has been rising steadily. The report calls for additional funding and investment to correct the disparity in subsidy. This should be addressed through a specific pot of funding for London from the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF). The Committee also supported business levies as an alternative means of funding rail investment.
Members of the Committee expressed concern about the consequences if the Rail 2025 programme is not fully funded. The report said it was essential that Thameslink, Crossrail and phase two of the East London Line extension to complete the orbital rail go ahead. These will be central to ensuring London continues to drive the UK economy and a high class of rail travel is delivered.
The report said that through tackling congestion at pinchpoints, large amounts of capacity can be unlocked. However, it is not just capacity that is the key to providing a first class rail network. Demand management policies need to be in place to ensure that the most efficient use is made of existing services. Modal shift has an important role to play and it is vital that governmental climate change, transport and planning strategies are properly integrated to deliver this.
The Committee made a number of further recommendations, including:
Blackwall Tunnel: letters to the MPS and TfL
On 7 June 2007, the Transport Committee discussed the decision to cease the tidal flow through the Blackwall Tunnel at its meeting with representatives of the Metropolitan Police Service and Transport for London. The Committee then wrote to both organisations with a request for further information to assist in our ongoing investigation.
Almost a third of children in the capital travel to school by car. Our report reveals Transport for London is unable to show what effect a £34.4million scheme to change school travel habits has had. The investigation on behalf of the Assembly Transport Committee found TfL’s claims about the effects of school travel plans may have been “overstated and potentially misleading”. TfL claim the travel plans have resulted in an average reduction of 5.5 per cent, yet this was based on only a very small sample and did not take into account other factors which would influence travel choices.
There has been poor take up of the voluntary initiative among London primary schools, despite TfL allocating significant resources. Just over one in three primary schools – 1,084 schools - have an approved travel plan, aimed at changing school travel patterns to cut congestion and pollution and allowing many more pupils to take regular exercise. A survey conducted by the Committee found a range of reasons why some schools have made little progress in developing their travel plan: some cited ‘initiative overload’; others referred to the level of bureaucracy involved in developing plans; some schools are simply resistant to the idea and are unwilling to divert resources to the initiative.
The report highlights a need for TfL to improve the timeliness and quality of its data collection. The Committee recommended that TfL publishes progress towards the target that each school should have an approved travel plan by the end of 2009.
The Transport Committee's latest review of the PPP examines progress four years into the 30 year renewal of the Tube. The report finds that Tube Lines, responsible for renovating 3 out of the network's 12 lines, is doing a good job. However Metronet, responsible for the renewal and maintenance of the Tube's other nine lines, has performed below reasonable expectation - despite repeated warnings from both London Underground, the Mayor and the London Assembly.
'Parallel Lines' is the Transport Committee's review of the proposed transit schemes for East London and Greenwich Waterfront. The Commmittee calls upon both routes to operate with fewer stops than is currently proposed and seeks greater clarity and ambition for the long term future of both schemes.
Angie Bray AM, on behalf of the Transport Committee, examined commuter transport on London's defining landmark - the River Thames. We found that better river transport services can be provided without excessive public subsidy, with many riverside developers prepared to contribute funding and resources. We would now like TfL and the Mayor to take advantage of this opportunity to provide Londoners with accessible and integrated transport along the Thames.
The report makes a series of recommendations to boost current plans and improve the Norrth London Line’s frequency and capacity, including:
The Transport Committee makes the following recommendations for TfL to continue to improve the way bus firms operate and be even more ambitious for service quality:
The Committee found that the franchising arrangements for rail services in London have failed to deliver an adequate standard of station facilities. This report discusses how the fractured nature of management on the railways has failed to deliver, what standards Londoners should expect from their train stations and, crucially, how best to achieve these standards. The Committee has recommended significant changes within franchise agreements for train companies, with a much greater emphasis on passenger safety.
This report puts forward measures to prevent further industrial action across the London Underground network. It calls on the Mayor, unions and Tube managers to take the following action to prevent further strikes:
This report assesses the performance of the Public Carriage Office (PCO), which is charged with regulating London's world renowned taxi service. The report, conducted by Peter Hulme Cross on behalf of the Transport Committee, calls for reforms to the PCO to ensure the long term future of the taxi trade.The PCO should take on a more strategic role, with clearer delineation between the regulatory and operational roles of the PCO to introduce transparency. The report calls for a comprehensive review of the structure and testing systems of the Knowledge, the taxi drivers' entrance examination. The Committee was concerned that testing systems were outdated and were adversely affecting driver recruitment. The report also makes recommendations on how the PCO can establish clearer lines of communication with drivers and improve customer service.
Cycling in London is growing in popularity yet a decade of delays have stopped us from having fast, safe and convenient cycle routes. This report reveals a series of barriers to creating the London Cycle Network plus (LCN+), which will create 900km of cycle friendly routes on London’s roads. It highlights fears that the LCN+ will not be completed on time and the project may not meet cyclists’ needs. To date less than 50 per cent of the planned routes have been completed and, when finished, it will only cover 9% of London’s roads. LCN+ should have a positive impact on cycling and could drastically reduce accident hotspots.
The report recommends Transport for London take the following action:
The London Assembly's review into bus driving standards examines why complaints related to the driver have increased so dramatically over the last four years and what could be done to halt this unwelcome trend. The review closely examined the design of buses, the communication between drivers and passengers, the training that drivers receive and the methods by which driving standards are assessed by both London Buses and individual bus operators. The report makes a raft of recommendations to improve design, training and communication but most significantly asks London Buses to consider adding contractual incentives to operators that are tied to driving standards.
The London Assembly Transport Committee has released a report on the progress of renewal of the London Underground. The controversial PPP has now been operating for over two years and the Committee has found progress to have been mixed across the Tube network with improvements overshadowed by engineering overruns and the threat of partial line closures.
Significant improvements in performance on the Central, Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines as well as dramatic improvement on the rate of escalator renewal was welcomed by the Committee. However, the continued mismanagement of overnight and weekend engineering work by the engineering firms hired to renew the Tube's infrastructure continues to impact on peak time service and has led to London Underground contemplating closing parts of the Northern Line to accelerate renewal on the track and signalling along the line.
The Committee heard from the Managing Director of London Underground, Tim O'Toole, the then Executive Chairman of Metronet John Weight and the Chief Executive of Tube Lines Terry Morgan in gathering its evidence.
This report is a timely one. The Road Traffic Act 1991 decriminalised parking enforcement and by 1996 all London boroughs had taken on parking enforcement. It is therefore just over ten years since boroughs started to take over the control of parking.
By 2003/04 nearly six million penalty charge notices were issued in London bringing in an income of some £300 million pounds for boroughs who, after expenditure, made surpluses of more than £113 million pounds for their parking accounts.
Responses from the public and business highlighted concerns with the issues of revenue raising, proportionality and discretion. Other issues surround problems with signage, the complexity of regulations operating in London and difficulties of dealing with the challenge and appeal process.
This London Assembly investigation sought to question and highlight those areas where the public believe difficulties lie and suggest common sense ways forward to alleviate the seeming growing tensions between restriction and compliance.
The report concludes that the boroughs are recognising that there is an issue of public confidence and it is in their interest to demonstrate that everything they do leading to a ticket is valid, proportionate and fair. Boroughs are slowly moving in that direction.
On 8 February 2005 the Mayor answered questions put to him by the Transport Committee on his proposals to raise the Congestion Charge to £8. The report is a summary of the hearing.
The Committee sought answers from the Mayor justifying the increase in the charge, guarantees about future raises, incomes and expenditure as well as the Mayor's possible plans for Oxford Street and a westward extension of the Congestion Charging Zone.
The Transport Committee has looked into the role that rickshaws have to play on the streets of London, especially in the West End where they have become a fixture of the streetscape over the past few years. Proposed legislation would give rickshaws, also known as pedicabs, a legal status and make them liable for using bus lanes, parking on double yellow lines, blocking pavements and other traffic contraventions. The report argues, however, that excluding rickshaws from bus lanes would force them out of the relative safety of the kerbside lane and as well as worsen hold-ups and congestion in normal traffic lanes. While the Committee agrees with the proposed legislation that the vehicles should be subject to parking rules, this reform should be delayed until dedicated ranks for rickshaws have been created where riders can more easily and legally compete for hire.
Down the Uxbridge Road
The proposed West London tram scheme stretches along the Uxbridge Road (A4020) from close to the M25 through to within a tube stop of Zone 1. The 20 km stretch of road passes through several town centres and areas of dense population such as Shepherd’s Bush, Acton, Ealing, Hanwell and Uxbridge. The construction of the tram and tramway is expected to last three and a half years and is projected to cost somewhere in the region of between £463 and £648 million.
In compiling its response, the Committee received a wide range of written responses, conducted a number of formal and informal meetings with local organisations, transport experts and TfL and went on site visits along the Uxbridge Road and to the tram network in Croydon.
The response closely examines the suitability of the Uxbridge Road and in particular the impact the tram would have on local traffic patterns, the viability of the business case and the potentially less expensive alternatives, such as the trolley bus. The report contains the Committee’s response and the evidence gathered in formulating it.
This is the first time in London that a comprehensive scrutiny of speed humps has been conducted by the London Assembly’s Transport Committee.
Research has proved that speed humps have been successful in reducing vehicle speed, improving road safety and saving lives. However, it should be recognised that technology has improved and there are now some alternative traffic calming measures, which could be considered along with traditional speed humps as a means of reducing vehicle speed and improving safety. Speed cushions are used at the moment but the Committee heard that boroughs are trialling variable speed signs and ripple print textured surfaces. The Committee recommended that the Department for Transport (DfT) change regulations so that speed cameras can be trialled to enforce 20mph zones. They also recommended that the boroughs establish pilot schemes to test the new vehicle responsive humps. These alternative measures would help to minimise the effect on the response times of the emergency services and address any environmental concerns from local residents.
The Committee would also like to see boroughs and the emergency services working closer together at a local level in preparing local strategic routes. Emergency services should ensure that they respond to borough consultations on traffic calming and boroughs in turn should take account of these responses.
The Transport Committee makes a number of recommendations in the report to Transport for London, the Association of London Government, London Boroughs, Department for Transport, the emergency services and the Pan London Road Safety Forum. The recommendations should assist these organisations in taking forward the important traffic calming work which will continue to improve road safety and save more lives in London.
The Transport Committee hosted a Tram, Trolley or Guided Bus: What are the best choices for London? Seminar on 22 January 2004 at City Hall. The objective for the seminar was to identify and discuss issues relating to the development and implementation of TfL’s mass transit schemes. The three modes for discussion were: trams, trolley buses and guided buses. The seminar was attended by TfL, local authorities and other relevant stakeholders.
The Committee has formally approved the report, which outlines the proceedings of the seminar and includes papers from Assembly Members from the four political groups on the Committee and from the seven speakers who presented at the seminar. The report makes the following recommendations:
The Transport Committee has closely monitored the development and implementation of the Congestion Charging Scheme since its first report in November 2000. This report represents the latest review by the Committee as part of its monitoring role.
Prior to the scheme's implementation we set out eight criteria by which the Committee would judge the Scheme's impact. The Congestion Charging Scheme:
This report assesses the extent to which each of these criterion has been met based on the data provided by Transport for London and considering the views of local authorities, residents organisations, small businesses and other stakeholders.
The report makes twelve recommendations which, the Committee believes, will improve the operation of the Scheme and reduce any negative impacts that the Scheme may be producing.
Congestion Charging - Westward Expansion?
Legally the Mayor is required consult the Assembly before consulting the public on any strategy or proposal to amend a Mayoral strategy.
TfL wrote to the Assembly seeking a response to a proposal for the extension of the Congestion Charging Scheme westwards. The Transport Committee held two meetings in November to discuss with local councillors, residents and businesses in both Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea the proposals for extending the zone.
The Committee believes that the economic effect of the current scheme has not yet been fully understood and therefore it is premature to consider further extension of the scheme until the full impacts of the current scheme and likely impacts of the proposed scheme are known.
As yet there is no indication from the Mayor whether or not he will be proceeding with a full public consultation early this year.
The Transport Committees Access Denied? report, published in July 2002, addressed the difficulties that motorists with mobility problems experience every day trying to find suitable parking in Central London close to the amenities that they require. The Access Improved report provides an update on the progress being made with the implementation of the recommendations from that report. We have recently heard from key organisations such as the London boroughs, Association of London Government (ALG) and Transport for London (TfL) that substantial progress has been made in implementing these recommendations.
For instance, as a result of the Committee's report, the London Borough of Camden, City of Westminster, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Corporation of London have agreed to harmonise their schemes to make it easier and less confusing for disabled drivers to park in central London. This includes: at least three hours parking on all Blue Badge bays in central London; an additional one hour free parking on pay and display areas after the expiry of the paid time; and permission to park for up to 20 minutes on yellow lines for dropping off and picking up goods and passengers.
The Mayor is consulting on a possible £425 million six lane bridge at Gallions Reach linking Beckton and Thamesmead. Overall, the majority of the Transport Committee are in favour of the Thames Gateway Bridge proposal. It has, however, a number of concerns that it wishes to put to the Mayor and TfL before a formal proposal is submitted to secure powers of construction. These are:
The London Assembly's Transport Committee responded to the Government's consultation on the future development of air transport in the south-east on 30 June. The Committee received written and verbal evidence from a wide range of organisations within the aviation industry, environmental groups and the public. The Committee's main findings were:
The transport system in Paris is widely seen to be reliable, well integrated and affordable. Four delegates from all parties on the Transport Committee visited Paris for two days in January 2003 to investigate whether this is indeed the case and to discuss how transport service providers, funded by the state, can be made accountable to local people.
Each of the delegates' personal observations from the visit are set out in the final report along with a number of key themes that emerged from what the delegates saw and heard while in Paris. Appendices to the report detail background material covering a record of the delegates' meetings and site visits; an outline of the French system of government and a description of the Paris transport system.
On 25 January 2003 a London Underground Central Line train derailed as it came into Chancery Lane station. Around 500 passengers were on the train and thirty-two passengers received injuries. Four days later the London Assembly asked the Transport Committee to investigate the derailment.
The Committees report highlights a number of concerns over the circumstances leading up to the derailment, safety practices on the Underground and the failure to deal adequately with previous known problems with the Central Line trains.
The Transport Committee has undertaken a scrutiny to establish what progress has been made with the recommendations from the following reports:
Although some progress has been made by Transport for London on improving bus services and safety on public transport, the Committee remains concerned about other key areas. The Committee has made strong recommendations to TfL asking them to significantly improve their public consultation procedure on buses, trams and river crossings and to drive forward the implementation of the South London Metro.
This report was published just after the Chancery Lane derailment and within days of the Mayor of Londons announcement that he expects to take over the running of the Tube after resolving his dispute with the Government over the PPP.
Londoners will agree with the Mayor when he says that this city deserves a world-class Underground system. Tube passengers, who between them make one billion journeys a year, know that there is a huge gap between todays Tube and a world-class system. To achieve vital improvements to the system, targets need to exist that are understandable to the public and reflect their own priorities. We believe that in consultation with the London Assembly, TfL should now produce a set of targets that drive performance on the Underground to deliver the world class Tube system Londoners deserve. This report aims to contribute to this target setting for the Tube it compares Londons underground system with similar urban systems around the world and comes to a view on the standards of service which relate to:
This is what Londoners should expect from a 21st century metro system.
Note: The Committee commissioned National Economic Research Associates
(NERA) to assist with technical aspects of the investigation and conduct
a survey of other comparable metro systems. NERAs extensive technical
report has been published to accompany this report and we make reference
to this throughout. NERA also produced a Technical Note to explain the
calculation of improvements to the reliability of the Tube.
This report publicises the findings from the Committee's scrutiny of the Mayor's Congestion Charging Scheme over the last two years. It highlights our concern that the Scheme may succeed in reducing congestion in central London but possibly at a high cost to Londoners. We have heard that travel by rail and Underground during the morning peak hour is likely to become more difficult and there are serious concerns about the sustainability of the bus services carrying the burden of additional passengers. Our concerns are heightened by the Mayor's refusal to set all but the most cursory of performance criteria for the Scheme or to reveal information about payments to key contractors. The Transport Committee is empowered to request information from Transport for London. This report sets out how the Transport Committee will be monitoring the Scheme's impact on London and list the key criteria by which we will be judging the Scheme.
At a meeting in June 2002, the Transport Committee discussed access to parking in Central London for people with mobility problems. The Committee heard that parking concessions offered under the national disabled parking badge scheme (the Blue Badge) do not apply within Central London. Instead each of the central boroughs and Transport for London operate separate disabled parking schemes. As a result, a visit to the West End or City for Londons 215,000 Blue Badge holders can be frustrating, confusing and often result in parking fines.
This report recommends that the Mayor start by reviewing the need for the current Central London exemption from the Blue Badge Scheme. If it is to remain in place, we recommend significant improvements in the guidance given to the boroughs about parking accessibility, the enforcement of existing disabled bays, the amount of information provided about concessions in Central London and the level of consistency between the parking schemes within each central borough. The report stresses that the Transport Committee will be pressing the Mayor, TfL and the boroughs to work with disability organisations to improve this situation and will be monitoring progress closely.
As a further contribution to the development of policies to reduce traffic congestion in London, the London Assembly organised a seminar on 31 January 2002. There were six eminent speakers from across Europe and the seminar was attended by one hundred delegates including representatives from the boroughs and Transport for London. The objectives were to examine policies which would contribute to reduced congestion in London, other than congestion charging, learning from the experience in other cities as well as current research; and, stimulating the discussion of options and the adoption of those policies best suited to the particular needs of various parts of London. The Assembly has produced this report "Alternatives to Congestion Charging" which outlines the proceedings of the seminar, makes positive recommendations and includes papers by the six speakers.
This report investigates concerns that the Mayor's Transport Strategy offers very little to improve travel options for the majority of Londoners. Transport for London admits that 'Outer London is the area of greatest challenge to public transport'. The report recognises that good work is in progress and improvements are being made to bus services for outer London in the short term, but it has concerns for longer term, lasting solutions. Offering people better information about their travel choices, following the example of a project in Perth, Australia, could make a quick and cheap impact on reducing car use in outer London. Transport for London should promote travel plans with councils and businesses in outer London and pilot other initiatives such as shared taxis at interchanges. The report also sets out the Assembly's concerns that London's suburban rail services are losing out to more profitable long distance services and that TfL and the SRA need to do more to redress this balance.
Report of the Transport Operations Scrutiny Committee's Informative Review of Mainline Rail Services in London
This report is about a crucial part of Londons transport system, the National Rail system, which falls beyond direct control of the Mayor. Perhaps as a consequence of this it is a subject on which the Mayor has said relatively little. Londons success depends on its commuter and long-distance rail services as much as any other transport system. Yet it is clear that these services are underachieving their potential in a number of ways. The report looks at some of those failings from a London perspective and recommends that the Assembly should keep the progress of the Mayor, Transport for London and other stakeholders involved under review, and that the Committee should hold a follow-up meeting in twelve months time.
In this brief scrutiny the investigative committee examined the issues of concern to people travelling home late at night from central London by public transport. There can be many difficulties involved with travelling at night besides personal safety. For example, trains can be infrequent or cancelled, the trains and the underground system do not run throughout the night and so passengers fear missing the last service home or may have to cope with crowds waiting for the last scheduled service, and although the night bus service is reliable and quick, announcements and information about it could be improved. There were positive findings too. For instance, the Committee recognises that London Buses, Railtrack and the boroughs are working together to introduce better waiting facilities for passengers at stations. The report recommends improvements in late night travel facilities for the public.
An investigation into the quality and performance of London's buses. A reliable and high quality bus service can be delivered at a fraction of the cost and in much less time than a rail or tram link. This report questions whether the political will exists to take advantage of the benefits a well run bus service can provide to Londoners. The Assembly investigation found strength in the management of bus services by Transport for London and a bus industry enthusiastic to provide for London's transport needs. But it questions the vision for buses expressed in the Mayor's transport strategy.
A constructive commentary on a draft strategy already improved since its initial draft, but which in the view of the Assembly still had significant shortcomings. Six key weaknesses are identified, for example, a serious deficiency in the setting of measurable, time specific, targets for the changes in London's transport system and the use made of it. Without targets, the effectiveness of the proposed measures cannot be determined. Neither can the performance of those responsible for delivering them, including the Mayor, be assessed. The Assembly continues to monitor the Mayor's transport strategy and the implementation thereof against the findings of this report.
Congestion charging is an issue that arouses significant differences of political opinion. In this report the Assembly presents a detailed account of its findings from an investigation conducted at a time when the Mayor had issued his original consultation paper, dated July 2000. The Assembly report, based on much written evidence from experts and on the outcome of seven evidentiary hearings, sets out a challenging range of recommendations for the Mayor and Transport for London. The Assembly continues to monitor the Mayor and TfL against the criteria laid down in this report.
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