Search

Ken Livingstone: From the mayor's desk

PUBLISHED: 06:27 24 March 2006 | UPDATED: 10:26 07 September 2010

Single biggest investment since end of the war: After decades of neglect, London's public transport system is starting to benefit from changes that, once completed, will represent the single biggest investment in London s transport system since the second world war...

After decades of neglect, London's public transport system is starting to benefit from changes that, once completed, will represent the single biggest investment in London's transport system since the second world war.

A poll of Londoners last year showed that more than eight out of 10 Londoners think our city is easy to get around - compared to 69 per cent in 2002.

The main improvement that has taken place in this time is the huge expansion of the bus service. I want to deliver similar improvements to the rail service - if I get the powers to do so.

This is why the Government's consultation on plans to give London more influence over commuter rail services across the capital, including some of those that start outside Greater London, is to be welcomed.

If the plans go ahead, we will be working co-operatively with local authorities to improve local rail services which run outside the Greater London area - including some of the rail services that serve West Hampstead Thameslink and Highbury and Islington station.

I want to see an integrated transport system that caters for 21st Century Londoners and all those who travel in and out of the capital every day, and we are beginning to get to grips with that.

Having an integrated system means that passengers should be able to jump from the overground to the tube, bus, Docklands Light Railway or tram using the same Oystercard and take advantage of cheaper single and day fares available only through Oyster.

I will assist rail companies to install the Oystercard technology so rail passengers can also take advantage of this fares structure.

Planning and providing safe, reliable and economic transport facilities is both a responsibility and a challenge. But we have made great strides to improve the quality of life for Londoners through their daily travel experience in and around the city. I want as many Londoners as possible to take advantage this.

The next step is that from April 2 - in plenty of time for the Easter break - London families will benefit from free tube journeys for all children under the age of 11, after 9.30am on weekdays and on weekends and public holidays.

This comes on the back of the abolition of bus and tram fares for under-16s last year, which will be followed by the removal of these fares for all under-18s in full time education later this year.

Combined with the retention of the Freedom Pass, this new concession for children on buses, tube, tram and Docklands Light Railway, constitutes a radical fares policy for the oldest and youngest in our city.

In fact, although it was at the Greater London Council that radical fares policies were first tried, right now today we are carrying through the effective abolition of many fares for older and younger Londoners.

In addition, there are some national rail routes on which under-11s travelling with an adult can travel free. So Ham &High readers who regularly use the West Hampstead Thameslink, for example, will be able to take their children around London, for free, to enjoy all that the city has to offer, from April.

Not only will free travel for children help make visiting London's many attractions more affordable for London families and widen the horizons of young Londoners, it will also encourage the next generation to use public transport as much as possible.

As we finally see the investment in public transport that London has needed, I want the next generation to be real public transport users for the rest of their lives.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Fri, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Fri, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Fri, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Fri, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now