Merton commuters could face huge Northern Line delays


Merton commuters could face delays if 2012 Mayor candidate Ken Livingstone’s fares cut proposals take effect.


By Tom Meade

Merton commuters face huge delays to the much needed Northern Line upgrades if Ken Livingstone’s fares cut proposals are to take effect.

The 2012 Mayor of London candidate intends to cut transport fares across London by 5% in an electioneering bid.

This is said to pose serious problems for signal upgrades to the Northern Line, many of which have reached the end of their functioning ability.

Boris Johnson said: “The policy is so bad it’s almost certainly just being offered as a desperate expedient.” 

The upgrades under Mr Johnson include a 20% capacity increase; 18% decrease in journey time; and an increase in reliability.

Merton commuters already enjoy the refurbished stations at Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon and Morden. A freeze in capital input to upgrades risks derailing the project.

The fare cuts will reduce the TfL capital infrastructure investments by £850m.

Mr Johnson suggested that even quadrupling council tax and raising the congestion charge to “excruciating levels” could not account for this shortfall.

It appeared that Mr Livingstone has no real plan to counteract the lack of funds available to TfL after his proposed cuts.

Mr Johnson suggested the shortfall might recollect 2013, as it was in 2005, with huge increases of ‘RPI 10’ in the following two years.

“I also fundamentally object because I don’t think it’s honest,” he added.

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