London TravelWatch – the capital’s transport watchdog – has set out 10 requests for the future government.
The General Election will take place on 12 December, and all parties have made pledges to improve the nation’s transport and infrastructure, as part of manifestos that they hope will ultimately hand them the keys to Number 10.
Intervention from regional transport bodies is nothing new; Transport for the North (TfN) has already called for the prospective new government to commit to projects such as HS2 once the election is over with, as well as push forward with the Northern Powerhouse.
London TravelWatch has followed suit, providing 10 key questions for the government that tackle issues such as Crossrail, devolution, bus services, staffing at stations.
The watchdog is independent of transport operators and the government, and gains sponsorship and funding from the London Assembly.
The first point made is the success that Transport for London (TfL) has enjoyed through the concession model for local rail services in and around the capital, which has improved performance and services; therefore, London TravelWatch has asked if the next government will support devolution of the management of London’s metro rail services to the Greater London Authority.
Elsewhere, the watchdog has declared it “essential that we build in extra rail capacity for the future.” To do this, London TravelWatch is asking for the government to support funding and provision of statutory powers necessary for Crossrail 2.
This is set to be a contentious subject given the fact that the first Crossrail project has experienced such difficulties; that scheme was originally set to be completed last December, but will not open until at least 2021 and other delays would not be a surprise.
Step-free access has increased in London over the years, and the watchdog has asked if the government will support the Access For All funding programme, and local bus services are also important, so the prospective new government have been asked to champion local bus services.