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Mayor's Transport Strategy Responce

Mayor's Transport Strategy Responce

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Published by John Siraut
Colin Buchanan's responce to the London Mayor's Transport Strategy
Colin Buchanan's responce to the London Mayor's Transport Strategy

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Published by: John Siraut on Jan 08, 2010
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Mayor’s Transport Strategy- Public Consultation – Response by ColinBuchanan and Partners Ltd.
Colin Buchanan is a transport, planning, economic, urban design and market researchconsultancy headquartered in London. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the latestversion of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS). Our comments are set out in response to thestakeholder questions. We recognise that some of our comments go beyond the Mayor’s directresponsibilities and in these instances we would envisage that the Mayor would work through therelevant parties.
Transport proposals
National Rail, Crossrail, London Overground, DLR, Tramlink 
Most of the proposals set out are continuations of existing policies which we support. Thedevelopment of the London Overground network highlights the potential to increase usage andrevenue of the suburban rail network especially off peak where there is surplus capacity. Wetherefore especially welcome proposal 13 (The Mayor, through TfL, and working with NetworkRail, train operating companies and other transport stakeholders will encourage the provision ofrail services in London that meet common service standards including improved ambience,amenities and wayfinding at all stations, and staff availability at each station. It is intended theseimprovements will be rolled out as franchises are renewed) although it would be helpful if thiscould be accelerated rather than having to wait till refranchising.We support the development of orbital rail services (proposal 14) and improved interchangebetween orbital and radial services (the lack of such an interchange at Brixton on the SouthLondon line is a classic example).Interchange generally remains poor between the rail network and other modes including cyclingand a greater priority should be accorded to the seamless journey – not only in ticketing wheremuch has been achieved – but also physically.We are disappointed that no mention is made of personal rapid transit (PRT) which has greatpotential in improving accessibility in outer London in a low cost and sustainable manner. Giventhe development of PRT at Heathrow this oversight is surprising. London should be at theforefront of applying the latest technology in public transport, unfortunately it has too often notbeen.We would support a detailed exploration of the potential of using PRT in the capital, in terms ofserving areas such as Park Royal and linking residential and employment areas to theconventional rail network.
London Underground 
We support proposal 22c (southbound extension of the Bakerloo line) given surplus capacity onthis line and the opportunities is provides to regenerate some very deprived parts of south andsouth east London.We remain disappointed that proposal 22d (Croxley Link) continues to make so little headway.Proposal 22b (privately funded Northern Line extension to Battersea) would appear to be unlikelyto have much chance of coming to fruition if it is to be funded solely by local development. Whilstlimiting such an extension to Battersea seems short-sighted. If such an extension is proposed
then a detailed assessment of how it could be better integrated into London’s transport networkshould be provided.
London’s Bus network 
The attention given to the bus network in the MTS seems limited.We would support a full scale review of London’s bus network to ensure a sustainable servicethat meets present and short term future needs is provided. This includes examining the potentialfor express and orbital services, integration with PRT (see above) and reducing the number ofservices terminating in central London thereby significantly reducing congestion in this area.Measures to reduce the present level of subsidy for bus services need to be made more explicit.In particular the case for reducing the proportion of people travelling free on the network and theheavy discounts provided on travelcards and one day bus passes need reviewing.We support the retention of articulated bus on heavily used routes and do not see the justificationfor using scarce resources on developing a replacement routemaster which given its doublestaffing would also be far more expensive to operate than present OPO buses.Bus to bus interchange remains poor with progress on time related bus tickets (ie ability totransfer between buses without having to pay again) too slow. In order to improve multi-bus journey options we would support an adjustment which would see Oyster single bus fare validityextended so that passengers could board as many buses as they wanted within 90 minutes of thefirst boarding without any additional charge. Better on board bus information is required in termsof interchange possibilities especially bus to bus interchanges.
Taxis, coaches, minicabs 
With the registering of minicabs and their drivers complete we no longer see why taxis andminicabs should not be treated equally in terms of access to bus lanes and through encouragingthe provision of minicab offices at rail stations.We would also propose that taxis/minicabs are only allowed in bus lanes in those locations wherethey do not have a detrimental impact on bus services.The extension of being able to use Oyster PAYG in taxis and minicabs will also help create theseamless journey.Information on taxi and minicab demand and supply still seems limited and more research is needto better match demand and supply by location and time of day. Improved taxi ranks are neededat busy locations such as stations to speed boarding.
We support many of the proposals outlined in 30 and 31 (smoothing traffic flow and managingroad works). However, we believe more can be done in terms of traffic signal innovation (forexample, switching off signals at quieter times and pressing the DfT for the introduction offlashing amber).The road network needs to ensure that it delivers priority to people not vehicles, that is, moreaccount needs to be taken of who is travelling on the road network and why and not just thenumber of vehicles.We encourage the use of average speed cameras to improve traffic flows on key routes andgreater enforcement of traffic regulations where these improve traffic flow and safety (eg notblocking junctions and illegal parking).
 To further improve utilisation of the road network we would like to see greater use of tidal flowswhile recognising that this would require changes to many road layouts. We would propose thatthe extra capacity provided should be utilised for cycling.Road signage in London is poor – in terms of inconsistency, lack of signage, to much signageand signage in the wrong location. A London wide signage strategy needs to be implemented andmaintained with coordination between boroughs and TfL.
Blue ribbon network 
We support greater use of the River Thames and the need for more piers with better provision ofservices at them. River services need to be fully integrated into London’s ticketing andinformation system with proper pier/bus/rail physical interchange where applicable
Access to Heathrow remains poor for staff and travellers, we support the creation of an extensivePRT network not only linking all parts of Heathrow and its carparks but also with surroundingareas/hotels and transport hubs. The capital cost of such a network could be paid for from localroad user charging.The Mayor needs to be explicit as to where additional runway capacity serving London should beprovided if he is opposed to a third runway at Heathrow and how links from London to thisadditional capacity should be implemented.
River crossings 
We would prefer to see emphasis given to more and improved cycle and pedestrian crossing ofthe Thames rather than new road bridges. Where these are provided they are very heavily used(eg Hungerford and Millennium bridges).
We have raised comments on integration under individual modes. In addition more work isneeded on developing real time multi-modal information that is accessible outside the network – eg in shopping centres, hospitals, major employment sites. Information provision on the networkis now overloaded with trivial endless repeated messages that provide little useful information.While more needs to be done to ensure staff on the ground have access to real time informationand are trained to provide it to users at times of disruption.We welcome the extension of Oyster PAYG to national rail services and would like to see furtherextension to taxis and minicabs.
We would like to see more emphasis on the need to provide cycle parking, which is secure,throughout the city enabling far more cycle and ride opportunities with public transport. And toensure planning permission for new homes includes requirement for secure cycle parking.Enforcement of rules of the road for cyclists should be more rigorous (eg adults riding on thepavement and ignoring traffic signals) but we would support the Mayor lobbying for a change inthe law so that the presumption is that the motorist is responsible for any accident involving acyclist or pedestrian.

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