Crossrail gets the green signal

BBC NEWS | England | London | Crossrail gets the green signal – oh look, Gordon Brown has announced funding for a major public transport project the day before the weekend that he’s tipped to decide whether or not to hold a general election, his party having previously announced it on the eves of both the 2001 and 2005 general elections. Imagine that.

Crossrail, although undoubtedly needed, is however a bit of a red herring. Most of the new route has already been built and has been in use for many decades. For the most part, the new trains will run on existing lines. The part that needs to be built, that will use up most of the £16bn, and will undoubtedly go over time and budget as all the usual suspects (consultants, New Labour cronies, etc.) jump on the gravy train is the tunnel under the centre of London. It really isn’t like they’re building a brand new east to west rail route through London, so the £16bn price tag and the planned timescale (over a decade from now) does seem a bit hefty. One has to wonder how far £16bn would go towards building one of the many shelved proposals to improve the urban motorway network in London, political correctness over climate change notwithstanding.

In any case it isn’t right that a new public transport project, which the commuting public cries out for every day of their lives as they are packed onto their sardine tins on a railway network that hasn’t seen any significant expansion since the second world war, is used as a shiny election badge. New Labour have had ten years to do something about the railway network in this country and they’ve fucked it up at every opportunity, except of course when it suits them.