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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 July 2017

Transport strategy: London's mayor is no visionary

London bus, photo Graham Richardson (Creative Commons)

London bus, photo Graham Richardson (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Andy Beadle, retired bus driver, Lewisham Socialist Party

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently released his 'Mayor's Transport Strategy' for public consultation.

His foreword opens: "Transport is a cornerstone of my vision for a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city." He wants "a city where transport is affordable, reliable and accessible for Londoners." But can we trust billionaire-loving, Corbyn-undermining, Mayor Khan to achieve this?

The strategy document is filled with pictures of people strolling and cycling down wide, well-kept leafy streets, with lots of sunshine.

There aren't many cars in most of the pictures, but 36% of trips in London are currently by car. By 2041 he wants this to be 20%. This is long-term vision. One aim is for 2050. In fact, step free access to all tube and rail stations isn't scheduled even by then!

Khan hopes to replace car journeys with bus, cycle and walking trips. This extra exercise, together with a cleaner environment and lower road speeds will improve everybody's health. The aim is to stop all road deaths and serious injuries by 2041.

Socialists are very much in favour of a vision for the future of the capital, including a clear transport strategy. But Khan's "vision" is not based in reality and has no prospect of becoming a practical plan.

Over the last decade British governments (including Gordon Brown's, when Khan was briefly transport minister), have imposed savage austerity cuts on our public services because they decided to bail out the failing banks and capitalist financial system. Even London is now being hit, with big cuts in government subsidies to public transport and transport price hikes.

Working people find it increasingly difficult to remain in London largely because of high house prices and rents.

Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto pledged to renationalise rail (as the franchises expire). Khan doesn't even have this limited plan.

Although a Labour mayor, Khan pledges to be "the most business-friendly" mayor yet and condemned tube workers' strike action against ticket office closures and cuts in station staff levels as "completely unnecessary".

It is impossible to balance the idea of long-term planning for the benefit of all with the narrow interests of big business, where decisions are made by companies to maximise private profit.

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In The Socialist 5 July 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Public sector wages - Pay up!

Jobstown victory: protest is not a crime!

Blairite EU rebellion: no to the bosses' Single Market

Fight establishment's Grenfell insults: no to cover-up, safety for all!

Hillsborough: six charged due to determination of justice campaign

Tories' tuition fees wobble: fight for free education!


Readers' comments and reviews

200-year miscarriage of justice exposing ruling class

Transport strategy: London's mayor is no visionary

The Socialist inbox


What we think

1 July demo: anger and enthusiasm shows potential mass movement


Socialist Party workplace news

'Jubilant' hospital workers strike against poverty pay in east London

Support the Merseyrail strikes against DOO

RMT conference opens debate on Labour and pledges to fight anti-union laws

Bin workers' anger boils over into strike action

Unison conference: Socialist Party argues for a socialist Brexit

Surrey FBU pass no confidence motion

BA cabin crew blacklisting strike starts

Leeds: Nurses' union RCN says 'scrap the cap'


Pride 2017

Pride 2017: we need a fighting, socialist movement for LGBT+ rights

Lessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today


NI abortion u-turn

Weakened Tories forced into Northern Ireland abortion u-turn


Housing

Haringey: stop demolition of homes and communities

South London tower block residents plan safety campaign

Newcastle tenants demand answers


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

East London community demands action after racist attacks

Another record fighting fund quarter!

From Militant to the Socialist Party - what you thought

Pensioners oppose DUP deal


 

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Related links:

Transport:

triangleRMT union AGM votes to defend union democracy

triangleTransport for London given funding stop gap

triangleMayor and government compete to attack London transport: fight for no cuts!

triangleTransport for London funding crunch

London:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The Socialist newspaper in the age of lockdowns

triangleSouthwest London Socialist Party: The fight for LGBT rights

triangleSouthwest London Socialist Party: Britain in crisis

triangleLondoners suffer and Khan piles on pressure

Cuts:

triangleNottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

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triangleSwansea & West Wales: Join the fightback in 2021 against Tory cuts and new austerity

Public transport:

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Rail:

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

Tube workers:

triangleNo increase in transport capacity without adequate safety precautions

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