Your leader Transport: good for London is good for us all (NCE 3 June) raises some interesting points and comes close to identifying the crux of the problem.
Radical ideas and radical solutions are indeed necessary if we are to improve public transport in London. As you acknowledge, introducing congestion charging in central London has been an unprecedented success.
Increasing the number of buses, coupled with congestion charging, was the most costeffective option for a short to medium term improvement.
Few will deny that buses have improved dramatically in the past four years.
However, radical long-term solutions depend on sufficient funding, without which few plans can be implemented.
Building new rail and underground links takes a long time, whereas improvements in buses can be easily gained through increased capacity and improved reliability. It is only fair that Londoners see an improvement in public transport provision. Until funding is available for largescale projects, improving the bus service is the best and only realistic option.
I whole-heartedly agree with your assertion that 'Transport:
good for London is good for us all', and support your call for all civil engineers 'to fight for transport schemes'. Hopefully the Treasury will share our views ahead of the imminent spending review.
Peter Hendy, managing director, Surface Transport, Transport for London, Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0TL