I supported a motion yesterday which called on the Mayor to lobby George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to ensure that rail electrification is introduced on the Barking to Gospel Oak Line before Crossrail opens in 2018.
The Motion which I seconded, was agreed unanimously by the Assembly yesterday. The Government was asked to ensure funding was set aside in the upcoming June Spending Review for the electrification of the line. Electrification is a necessary investment in order to tackle high levels of overcrowding and improve air quality.
The investment needs to be awarded from the Treasury as soon as possible to ensure that electrification can be introduced before Crossrail opens in 2018. Transport for London have offered to contribute £25m towards the £90m cost of the scheme. If the additional funding needed from Government or Network Rail failed to materialise, the Assembly has also asked the Mayor to work with Transport for London (TfL) to secure alternative delivery of the line’s electrification.
This follows a long campaign from local residents and user groups and supported by myself and my fellow local Assembly Members, and we all recently wrote to the Chancellor to urge him to consider including electrification of the line in the spending review in June.
Residents in Haringey deserve a decent transport system. Electrification is essential if local residents in Haringey are to be adequately connected with the rest of London’s transport. There is significant overcrowding on this route and urgent steps need to be taken to address this.
Electrification of the Barking to Gospel Oak Line has widespread support from all sides, including TfL, the rail industry and passenger stakeholder groups and was unanimously supported by the London Assembly yesterday. The Government is the only stumbling block in the way of granting the much needed electrification to this route as the funding, originally included in the Treasury’s Autumn Budget, was withdrawn.
The Mayor must make a strong case to the Chancellor to finalise funding for this long overdue upgrade to get a better deal for Londoners.
The motion is below:
Mover: Jennette Arnold AM
Seconder: Joanne McCartney AM
Barking to Gospel Oak Electrification
This Assembly recognises that the full electrification of the Barking to Gospel Oak Line is necessary, and calls the Government to ensure funding is set aside in the June 2013 spending round to finance this long-overdue project and ensure that this funding does not come at the expense of spending on tube infrastructure upgrades.
The London Assembly believes that electrification of the line is necessary to ease unacceptably high levels of overcrowding and improve air quality. To achieve this, the Assembly calls on the Mayor to lobby the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ensure that electrification can be introduced before Crossrail opens in 2018.
This Assembly commends the efforts of Transport for London to catalyse the project by offering to contribute £25m towards the £90m cost of the scheme. Should, however, the Barking to Gospel Oak Line not be funded by the Government or Network Rail, the Assembly calls on the Mayor to work with TfL to secure an alternative means of delivery.