Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 14:42 UK

TfL budget heralds major works

Tube train
TfL has highlighted at least 2.4bn in cost-cutting over the next 10 years

A series of transport improvements for the capital will benefit after Transport for London (TfL) announced a £9.2bn budget.

The investment includes completing work on upgrading the Jubilee Line and starting the redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road station to serve Crossrail.

The budget for 2009/10, is up from £8.1bn last year, officials said.

Critics said some transport plans were cancelled because ideas implemented by the mayor left a hole in the budget.

Mayor Boris Johnson said part of the reason for the postponement and axing of some schemes was that TfL has found that implementing work inherited from the failed Tube maintenance company Metronet is costing £400m more than was first thought.

In December, Mr Johnson told TfL to save at least £2.4bn over the next 10 years as part of a cost-cutting drive.

'Excellent progress'

The drive aims to save £950m across the entire Greater London Authority Group, which includes, TfL, City Hall, and the London Fire Brigade.

The money saved would help fund a package to help the capital cope during the economic downturn.

There is a hole in the Transport for London budget and it is partly of the Mayor's own making
Jenny Jones, London Green Party

"Transport projects provide a fantastic opportunity to help London and the UK recover from the recession," said Mr Johnson.

"The collapse of Metronet already means that some work must be put back or cancelled, so I will be relentless in making the case to the government that they should not let other projects falter."

Other transport projects anticipated this year include work on a new Isle of Dogs Crossrail station, "intensification" of the work to extend the East London Line and a host of initiatives to help smooth traffic flow.

Opposition members of the London Assembly said Mr Johnson's assurances were empty as he had put under threat other schemes including the Greenwich Waterfront Transit - which would connect a whole swathe of commercial and residential areas in east London - and the widening of the North Circular.

Jenny Jones from the London Green Party said: "People have been waiting years for these improvements and there will be anger if these schemes are abandoned at the last minute because the London Mayor has failed to balance the books.

"There is a hole in the Transport for London budget and it is partly of the Mayor's own making, as he has cancelled the £25 emissions charge for gas guzzlers and is wasting millions replacing bendy buses."



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