Commenting on the impact of the CSR on London, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation said:
“Boris might be claiming CSR victory for London, but while big ticket items like Cross Rail and the Tube have been preserved, things will be grim at borough level. Councils are facing cuts of more than a quarter over four years and have already warned that road maintenance will suffer. The possible silver lining that TfL and the boroughs have vowed to unite to buy in maintenance work, turning it from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market. They estimate cost savings of 20% to 30%. The CSR needn’t mean doom and gloom but it does require those managing taxpayers’ cash to pull their fingers out and deliver real value for money.
“And all this is against a backdrop of growing population and – hopefully – economic recovery, which will mean more people coming to the capital to work. We are at real risk of grinding to a halt. However much we like to think we are a public transport city, and for all the attention lavished on the Boris bike, the car is the dominant form of transport for most people most of the time. Vital schemes like the Henlys Corner improvement must go ahead.
“The Dartford Crossing toll increases will shock the 150,000 motorists who use it each day. They are a captive market with no alternative route and the Government knows this. The sop for drivers is a move to reduce congestion at the crossing by getting rid of toll booths and automating payment along the lines of the London congestion charge. The Government continues to do preparatory work on a second crossing, but recognises this will require private investment if it is ever to be built.”