Professor David Begg gathered data from 3,500 transport professionals for a report on progress and future challenges facing transport in the capital

A study based on a survey of 3,500 transport professionals and comparison of international transport systems has concluded that London’s transport network should be rated as ‘world class’ in a wide range of fields.

Published last week, World Class? London’s Transport: Progress and Future Challenges, was written by professor David Begg and commissioned by Siemens, the engineering and technology services company. He acknowledged that he had changed his opinion during the course of his research to a more positive view than he initially held. “My initial instinct was to say that London’s transport system is getting nearer to the description of ‘world-class’,” said Begg, currently non-executive director at FirstGroup and Heathrow Airport, and formerly a non-executive director of Transport for London. “However, studying performance data and the benchmarking data that was available, together with the feedback from the stakeholders objectively and dispassionately interviewed, the more accurate and credible this status became.”

Aspects of London’s transport which Begg identified as world class included: the performance of the transport system during London 2012; the extensive and often undervalued bus network; the record high operational performance and customer satisfaction on London Underground; progress in upgrading the LU network; the transformation of the London Overground network; and customer information, marketing and ticketing.

The services rated good or excellent by at least 70% of the transport professionals were:  Olympic delivery (94%), London Overground (77%), Tube (76%), public transport safety (74%), TfL’s overall performance (73%) DLR (72%) and Bus (70%).

Key challenges identified for the future included improving London Underground’s efficiency, maintaining the performance of the bus network as subsidy falls, funding the recruitment of high calibre staff at TfL and financing investment programmes.


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