Transport for London (TfL), created two years ago when the Greater London Authority came into being under its first mayor Ken Livingstone, is entering the delivery phase of a strategy that promises to change London's streets forever.
Major projects include the £25M scheme to pedestrianise Trafalgar Square, set to begin construction in December in time for opening in summer 2003.
Europe's first scheme to charge drivers entering a central zone has gone through conception and detailed design. Contracts were let in March, and the scheme will be operational by February next year. Meanwhile, in preparation, money is being pumped into bus priority measures with more bus lanes and better enforcement.
To date TfL has taken charge of 550km of streets. London's first road safety plan was launched in November last year, followed by the forming of a Streetworks Task Force in December. Road maintenance and signalling contracts have been remodelled.
Since April, London has been split into five zones under three TfLappointed 'stewards' - Camden Borough Council, Parkman and WSP - to co-ordinate a consistent approach to maintenance. And an asset management plan for all roads in London has been initiated to look at the capital's road maintenance as a whole for the first time.
Money to be raised through congestion charging is being put into remodelling and improving the transport interchange at Vauxhall Cross. Dominated by myriad intimidating roads, pedestrians and public transport users currently battle through a hostile environment to move between bus stops, the underground and mainline rail station.
Other major TfL projects include developing street running light rail and guided bus systems, evolving CCTV congestion charging into an electronic road pricing system and expanding the pricing zone, and building new river crossings in east London.
TfL will also take on the Tube once the public private partnership deal is finally signed.
See TfL on Stand 12 C165