The bus station has to go. Why? “It’s money” says TfL’s Director of Commercial Development.
From Helen and Pauline
Close to the Versace designed apartments of the Aykon Tower, destined for sale to the Mega Rich investors of the far east, lies the Bus Station. Built on public land with public funds, by a public body, to serve the public of London, it’s future is threatened by the expansion of TfL from a dedicated transport authority to a commercial developer in partnership with thirteen of the biggest companies in the country.
Why? Because it is Government policy, enthusiastically supported by the last Mayor, to cut Government spending to the bone . 37% cuts to the DfT resource budget will entirely wipe out TfL’s operational budget by 2020 leaving it to cut services, raise fares or make money elsewhere. Part of the £3.4bn TfL hope to make by 2023 will come from the destruction of the bus station.
“ We will be shortly commencing the detailed designs for the bus station with a planning application expected in summer next year” says Nigel Hardy, Head of the TfL team in charge.
There are admirable plans to use some of TfL’s 5,700 acres to build affordable homes, but none of those homes will replace the bus station. All its advantages and efficiencies will disappear under a vast commercial slab, probably in partnership with the Saudi developer of the adjacent island site. Why? “It’s money” says TfL’s Director of Commercial Development, Graeme Craig. ”That has to be our top priority”.
We are set to be the only major European city without a subsidised transport network. The only city where cost alone is what counts, where value is judged only by the pound signs in front of it and a myopic view of the greater benefits of government investment, both social and financial cripples every development.
But all is not lost. Boris, backer of this ‘only profit counts’ fiasco, is no longer running London. Now we have a new Mayor who can stop this in its tracks. Please tell him that we, the people of London, know the real value of Vauxhall Bus Station to everyone who uses it and we want him to ensure that we keep it. Ask him to let us talk to him personally, with no intermediaries, to explain why this is so important.
The Mayor, Sadiq Khan email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Pauline and Helen