The capital’s first long term infrastructure plan forecasts a 50% increase in demand for public transport over the next 35 years. (The illustration shows the density of employees in Greater London)

London mayor Boris Johnson has set out proposals for a £466bn upgrade to London’s transport system over the next 35 years.

The proposals form part of a wider £1.3 trillion plan to cater for demands on the capital’s infrastructure caused by a forecast 37% increase in London’s population to 11bn people in 2050.

Johnson described the requirements set out in the capital’s first long term infrastructure plan as a “wake up call”, warning that without a long term plan and the necessary political will to implement it “the city will falter”.

Demand for public transport is forecast to increase by 50% overall by 2050, but by 60% on underground services and 80% on rail services. On the South West Trains main line network into Waterloo alone, demand is expected to exceed current capacity by close to 20,000 passengers in 2031, equivalent to 20 train loads.

The Greater London Authority estimates that the transport package requires a funding gap of £89bn or £2.5bn per year to be filled, more than half the total £173bn gap across the infrastructure plan as a whole. It proposes that the required funds could be provided through central government allowing the GLA to retain all business rate revenue and the increase in stamp duty generated by transport investment, as well as more efficient project delivery.

Key schemes proposed to cater for the additional growth across the London network include:

  • Upgrading the Jubilee, Piccadilly, Northern and Central lines to provide 36 trains per hour (tph) by 2035, increasing capacity by 20-60% on these lines.
  • Extending the Bakerloo line to Hayes in Kent by 2045 and the Northern Line to Clapham Junction by 2040.
  • Progressive capacity increases on all suburban rail lines into London terminals to allow additional trains and longer trains to run. Includes an extra 4tph on the SWT and Greater Anglia networks, an extra 6tph through the Crossrail tunnel and an extra 8tph on the Brighton Main Line between 2020 and 2030.
  • A south London Metro service ensuring at least 75% of rail stations in the capital have a 10-minute frequency service by 2030.
  • Four tracking the rail line to Stansted Airport and remodelling Clapham Junction.
  • Crossrail 2, followed by a new east west Crossrail 3 scheme in the 2040s to the proposed Estuary Airport.
  • Extending Crossrail 1 to the West Coast Main Line at Watford and Tring by 2026, and to Dartford/Ebbsfleet  in 2030.
  • Doubling capacity on the western branch of Croydon Tramlink to 24 trains per hour by 2026.
  • Enhanced bus priority and new bus rapid transit schemes.
  • The Greater London Authority estimates that the transport package requires a funding gap of £89bn or £2.5bn per year to be filled, more than half the total £173bn gap across the infrastructure plan as a whole. It proposes that the required funds could be provided through central government allowing the GLA to retain all business rate revenue and the increase in stamp duty generated by transport investment, as well as more efficient project delivery.

 

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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