Wednesday, 29 March 2017

TfL board papers for 29th March 2017 meeting

It’s that time of the month again and TfL have released their board papers for the 29th March 2017 board meeting.

In this article I will show you some parts of the TfL board paper - like the budget and proposals.

First off, we’ll look at the 2017/18 budget board paper. This board paper contains some interesting infographics which you can see below.


Now let’s look at the most important board paper which is the commissioner’s report.

Here are some extracts from the board paper:

Reducing emissions and improving air quality
Toxicity charge
On 17 February, the Mayor confirmed his plans to introduce a £10 Toxicity charge (also known as the Emissions Surcharge or T-Charge) for the most polluting vehicles in central London.

The T-Charge will begin on 23 October this year and will operate on top of, and during the same operating times, as the Congestion Charge. Our website has a free vehicle checker so drivers can see whether their vehicle will be affected by the T-Charge. We expect up to 10,000 of the oldest, most polluting vehicles every weekday to be potentially liable for the new emissions levy, which will apply to motorists who own vehicles that do not meet Euro 4 standards – typically those diesel and petrol vehicles registered before 2006. This means it will cost a total of £21.50 (including the £11.50 Congestion Charge) to drive one of these vehicles within the zone.

The Mayor has doubled funding spent on tackling air quality to £875m (over the next five years) and will consult on introducing the start of the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019, expanding the ULEZ up to the North/South Circular roads and making it London-wide for heavy vehicles by 2019. We are also spending more than £300m transforming London’s bus fleet by phasing out pure double-deck diesel buses and have committed to purchase only hybrid or zero-emission double deck buses from 2018.

Low Emission Bus Zones
The first Low Emission Bus Zone was launched earlier this month. The route, which runs from Putney Station to Putney Bridge Road, is the first of 12 new Low Emission Bus Zones to be introduced at air quality hotspots. Since 9 March, only buses that meet the toughest emission standards will be permitted to run within the Putney Low Emission Bus Zone. Putney High Street already has bus priority measures in place to reduce bus delays and cut unnecessary pollution caused by sitting in traffic.

There will be 11 more Low Emission Bus Zones following Putney, with the Brixton and Streatham zone set to be introduced in October. The remaining zones will be delivered by 2020, fulfilling the Mayor’s manifesto commitment.

The zones represent the most extensive network of clean buses of any major world city and will reduce harmful bus emissions in the areas by more than 80 per cent. These areas currently expose Londoners to some of the highest levels of NO2 pollution, and they generally run older buses that significantly contribute to road transport emissions.

Continuing environmental commitments In 2016, the 507 from Waterloo station to Victoria station and the 521 from Waterloo station to London Bridge station became central London’s first fully-electric bus routes. As part of our commitment to improve London’s air quality, we are making sure all double-deck buses operating in the central Ultra Low Emission Zone comply by 2019. This means each of the 3,100 double-deck buses operating in the zone will be Euro VI hybrid. We are expanding the ULEZ retrofit programme from 800 buses to up to 3,000 buses outside the central zone by 2020 and to 4,200 buses by 2021.

On 15 February, the Mayor announced that two more bus routes will run exclusively with electric vehicles, as part of his ambitious plans to cut toxic air pollution. We already have the largest electric bus fleet in Europe and the addition next spring of 36 buses on routes C1 and 70 – which run between White City and Victoria and between South Kensington and Acton respectively – will take the total number of electric buses to 121, on top of the 2,000 hybrid electric buses currently in our fleet.

The new buses are part of the Mayor’s hard-hitting package of proposed transport measures to cut toxic air pollution. Electric buses produce no exhaust pipe emissions and are a more comfortable ride for passengers owing to less noise and vibrations.

London Underground
Modernising the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines
We have started to install electronic tags on track sleepers on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines to track trains on the network. The tags emit a radio frequency that is read by equipment on the trains and are a vital component of the signalling system that will enable S stock trains to travel more safely, frequently and reliably. In the first stage, we are putting 750 tags on the track between Paddington and Hammersmith. When the project is complete, there will be thousands of tags in place.

Elizabeth line
Crossrail remains on time and within its £14.8bn budget. The project is more than 80 per cent complete. Cost and schedule pressures continue to be actively managed by Crossrail Ltd to maintain progress towards the five opening stages of the Elizabeth line between May 2017 and December 2019. There is a 60 per cent chance of drawing on part of our share of the contingency in the funding.

Construction progress and railway fit-out
Crossrail’s central section construction programme remains focused on fitting out the stations, tunnels, shafts and portals. Station construction is more than 70 per cent complete and platforms more than 95 per cent complete, with just Whitechapel to finish. Installation of escalators, lifts and platform screen doors has commenced.

The ceiling at the new Liverpool Street station ticket hall is now finished, using a unique geometric cast concrete design that maximises the sense of space. All the brick cladding on walls within the new ticket hall at Paddington station has been installed. At Whitechapel station, demolition and other works within the main ticket hall entrance have been completed.

Railway fit-out is progressing well, with the track, cables, communication systems and ventilation equipment being put in place to ensure dynamic testing of the new rolling stock can start before the end of 2017. Dynamic testing includes a single nine-car train running through various phases of testing and commissioning at a slow speed, accessing the tunnels via Pudding Mill Lane and running between Abbey Wood and Canary Wharf stations. The test train will gradually build up to nominal speed, moving from ‘unprotected’ testing, through to using the signalling system for protection. The aim is to start to build confidence levels in the systems prior to dynamic testing in the tunnels under central London in early 2018.

Surface works
Network Rail is continuing to deliver their upgrade work for Crossrail on the existing rail network. A time-critical date was achieved when gauging work and installation of driver-operated only CCTV on platforms was completed on the eastern route at the end of February. This will enable testing of the new rolling stock on the route prior to the new trains being introduced from late May. Network Rail’s work continues at multiple sites, including Abbey Wood, where the new Crossrail platforms are taking shape; station fit out commences in April and opening is scheduled for October 2017.

Elizabeth line stations
At many of the 10 new stations across the Capital, the ticket halls are now visible above ground as the architectural finishes begin to be installed. All the stations on the Elizabeth line will be step-free to platform level, and the stations in central and southeast London will be fully accessible from street to train.

Train testing
A fleet of 66 new 200 metre long Elizabeth line trains will feature nine walk-through carriages, air conditioning, CCTV and realtime travel information. Each train will be able to carry up to 1,500 people.

Testing of the first train on the Shenfield line continued in January and February at night, and more recently with daytime runs into Liverpool Street station.

On 7 March, the first Elizabeth line train arrived at the Ilford depot from the Midlands for testing and driver training, in preparation for service introduction in May. The eighth train is now in production at Bombardier’s Derby factory.

London Rail
Gospel Oak to Barking electrification
In January we were informed that Network Rail were unable to complete their electrification project for the Gospel Oak to Barking route in the agreed timeframe, despite months of closures of the railway and significant disruption to our customers, local residents and businesses. Direct discussions have taken place at the most senior level, including to the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Network Rail. The railway reopened on the line on Monday 27 February, however, many more weeks of work remain and we are working with Network Rail to minimise any further disruption to our customers ahead of the planned introduction of electric trains in early 2018.

Rolling stock replacement programme (DLR)
The contract for the Beckton Depot RIBA2 concept design development will be awarded in March, pending the outcome of final tender clarification meetings.

The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice and the Invitation to Tender for the replacement rolling stock are scheduled for issue in April.

Bus Hopper boost
Since its launch in September, more than 50 million journeys have been made using the Bus Hopper fare. Route 18 (Euston station to Sudbury and Harrow Road station) is the most 'hopped’ service.

Bus priority
We have delivered another 50 bus priority schemes on the TfL Road Network and on borough roads. Since April 2016, we have exceeded our target and delivered more than 150 bus priority schemes. Several recently completed schemes will benefit route 185, which spans south-east London, and will result in more than a minute of bus journey time savings. These schemes were delivered across 22 of the London boroughs and have all contributed to an estimated 100 minutes of bus route journey time savings delivered by the 2016/17 Bus Priority Programme. We expect to provide approximately 170 schemes in the next financial year, all of which will improve bus journey time reliability.

You can view more of the 29th March 2017 board papers here.

The reason why I look through the board papers and post extracts on my blog is to show you how the London Transport system has progressed.

And now a quick update on the three-door two-staircase hybrid bus called ‘New Routemaster.’

On 25th March, route 76 (Waterloo to Tottenham Hale) contract started with Go Ahead London - using  New Routemaster buses.

Route 48 (London Bridge to Walthamstow Station) is operated by Arriva, and uses standard diesel buses with a small number of New Routemaster buses. It is expected the route will fully convert to New Routemaster buses sourced from other operators and garages around August 2017. This means that route 254 (Holloway to Aldgate) will be the very last route to convert to New Routemasters on 3rd June 2017 - the contract for the route is retained by Arriva.

After the New Routemaster project is completed it will be down to private bus operating companies to purchase the two-door one-staircase design called the SRM. The competing design, called the Enviro400H City, holds design cues from the New Routemaster and is currently operating on routes 26, 78, 133, 333 and 388.

Lastly, a bus news update from LOTS.

1) This weekend marks the swap of London routes 76 and 259 between Arriva and Go-Ahead, and the transfer of 362 and 462 from Go-Ahead to Stagecoach.  Also many timing changes at First Berkshire at Slough, partly to alter some of the radical changes last September. There is another network revision at Universitybus in Hertfordshire with more longer services added. Already the 602, 610 and 635 cross the county astride Hatfield, now the 601 is extended across St Albans to Borehamwood in place of the 655 and the 341/641 and 614/644 are rerouted around Hatfield to replace more local routes.

2) A reminder of imminent events, Detling on 1st April and Brooklands on 9th April, London General will run its 36X Routemaster excursion to both. On the 1st from Victoria 0815, Lewisham 0852  with a direct link to the full timetable in the ”Events” listing below.   On the 9th from Lewisham 0800, Victoria 0900, look at the link to London Bus Museum and then to Go-Ahead in the ”Events” listing below.

As my regular readers will know, you can follow me on Twitter and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

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