Managing London’s transport system is one of the most important responsibilities that the Mayor of London has, accounting for £6 out of every £10 that City Hall spends. There are some things that have already been decided: 250 newly designed Tube trains for the Piccadilly, Waterloo and City, Bakerloo and Central lines will be rolled out by the mid-2020s, which will have walk-through and air-cooled carriage and improved accessibility, and are intended to meet London’s growing demand.
In 2020 Crossrail (newly named as the Elizabeth Line) will be up and running, connecting Reading with Shenfield and servicing central London in between. Now that the Chancellor has given Crossrail 2 the green light, construction for it will need to have started by 2020 in order for it to be operational by the early 2030s. Londoners should be happy to see 24 hour tubes up and running later this summer, despite the numerous delays to its implementation since September 2015 as a result of the RMT and other unions who did not want to give Boris this “win”.
For Londoners whose daily commute involves a bicycle, both candidates have unsurprisingly pledged to make cycling and walking around the city safer. By the time the new Mayor is in post, five of the cycle super highways will be completed and fully operational. Sadiq has pledged to prioritise ‘Quiet Ways’ to broaden London’s safe cycle network, and similarly, Zac is a known supporter of Boris’s cycle lanes, and of the ‘Quiet Ways’.
Under Sadiq, other commuters can look forward to a new scheme where you won’t be financially penalised for changing lines or buses, a freeze in Tube, Overground, DLR fares and the congestion charge, and a cut in bus fares. While Zac has not made this same commitment, he has highlighted the black hole in funding that Sadiq’s plans will cause. This has been backed my former Commissioner of Transport for London and current chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy, who warned that any candidates pledging fares cuts are “unrealistic” and highlighted that it would be “extraordinarily difficult” to maintain existing levels of service if Tube and bus fares were reduced. Transport for London’s control of commuter rail routes will also be up and running by 2020.