§ Mr. Nick Raynsford (Greenwich)
I beg to ask leave to present a petition that has been signed by more than 5,000 residents of the Greater London area and of surrounding commuter areas, expressing anger and concern at the lack of investment in London Transport.
In particular, the petitioners highlight the proposals to close the Aldwych station and the threat to Mornington Crescent station, as well as the cuts in investment in London Underground and bus services. The petitioners, together with all other Londoners, feel betrayed that the promised investment in London Underground pledged by the Government immediately before the 1992 general election is now being cut. Following a £300 million cut in last year's autumn statement, a further cut of perhaps 10 per cent. is threatened in the coming Budget.
The cuts will be catastrophic and will delay long-overdue improvements in stations. For example, on, the Northern line the cuts will halt the replacement of outdated rolling stock and signalling systems and make it impossible for London Underground to complete essential repairs to track and surrounding walls, bridges and drains. That, in turn, makes the services slower, more vulnerable to interruption and less safe because the track can be blocked by debris from collapsing walls or crumbling embankments and drains.
That comes at a time when there is a desperate need to improve our public transport network in London to ensure a transfer from our over-congested roads to get London moving again. The petition ends:Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House takes steps to ensure that the investment projects planned to achieve the "decently modern metro" by 2004–2005 and to improve quality of bus services are not cut or deferred, and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.
§ To lie upon the Table.