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Livingstone Makes London Rails His Domain

by Kate Trainor on March 24, 2008

LivingstoneRailsPOST Livingstone Makes London Rails His Domain
Apart from his stellar plans for London pedestrians, Mayor Ken Livingstone (pictured above, riding the Tube) also has plans to take over control of the city’s rail system, improving public transportation on a grand scale. It’s part of the Mayor’s overarching scheme to decrease London’s dependence on cars and switch to walking, cycling, or public transit options, instead.

Livingstone has approached the British government about the possibility of absorbing the urban rail lines (the “metro route”) of Southern, one of Britain’s major train operators.

From the Guardian:

The mayor of London is confident of securing the inner-city portion of the Southern franchise as part of his Overground rail network after talks with No 10 and the Department for Transport. The proposal has met with strenuous opposition from train operators and is believed to have concerned some officials within the Department for Transport, who are worried about the complexity of splitting one of the capital’s biggest franchises in two.

However, transport secretary Ruth Kelly has told officials the she wants "the best possible deal for Londoners" and is interested in the plan. Livingstone’s Transport for London body took over part of the former Silverlink franchise and rebranded it as the London Overground network last year, but the route operated within London only.

Presumably, Livingstone is looking to acquire these urban rail lines for the purpose of improving them—along with the quality of life and mobility of Londoners (who, thanks to Livingstone, are now more inclined to leave their cars at home). There’s no telling, yet, whether or not the Mayor will take control of the privately-held franchise, but if he does, it will probably mean better access and manageable fares for riders.

Photos via flickr by Land of the Lost & montini.

 

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  3. London to Introduce World’s Largest Low Emissions Zone
  4. London’s Livingstone Leads the Way to a City-Wide Carectomy
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joel Sanda February 17, 2008 at 11:09 pm

[quote]Blame variable interest rates, sub-prime mortgages, and suburban sprawl. [/quote]

You know – the folks who bought a house that required driving just to pick up a loaf of bread made a number of mistakes. Vaulted ceilings? Non-native landscaping? The garage takes up more than half of the front of the home? At least a 45-minute drive from the city center? Those clowns made mistake after mistake buying homes there. Tack onto that list of ignored facts of life a zero-down mortgage you’re talking about a huge population that can’t read maps, do basic math, or judge distances.

Reply

2 looking4facts February 18, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Kate,
I understand your concerns and am in total agreement with a lot of your underlying assumptions, but let’s use facts instead of hyperbole and FOXNews adjectives. If you continue with this type of “rant”, the message will never be heard, much less acted upon.

For example,
“Nearly three million homes have foreclosed in the last three years.”

I’ll assume this is fact, but what is the source and what is the number? And how many were in the suburbs?

Or,
“Blame variable interest rates, sub-prime mortgages, and suburban sprawl.”

How about we blame the people who didn’t plan ahead or don’t understand simple financial concepts or just had some unforeseen consequences to other decisions? Let’s put responsibility on those who made the decisions and not on some “not-in-our-control” system like banks and mortgage brokers.

And what is your definition of suburb? More than 1 mile, 5 miles, 10 miles, 30 miles outside of the city center? Outside the city limits?

And that was only the first paragraph….the rest of the article is much more of the same.

Love the attitude…but as a piece of journalism, its an F.

If you’re just trying to incite the “droves”, I’ll give you an A-.

Reply

3 Susie H February 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I agree with Joel. Back in the day, people saved
up for a down payment and bought within their means.
Now people buy (or try to buy) a $600K house but
only make $30K a year. I’m sure predatory lenders
are part of the problem but are any of these “homeowners” taking responsibility for their
own stupidity?

Reply

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