Boris stands firm on Crossrail

LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday secured the support of business organisation London First as he continued to insist investing in Crossrail and London&rsquo;s transport network was essential for the Capital&rsquo;s economic prosperity.<br /><br />Attending the launch of a report published by London First into the benefits of maintaining investment in transport, Johnson said his commitment to Tube upgrades and the &pound;16bn Crossrail scheme was &ldquo;fundamental and unwavering&rdquo;.<br /><br />He added: &ldquo;Over the coming months and years we need to make sure the government maintains its side of the investment needed to ensure that London, the powerhouse of the UK economy, retains its position at the summit of world cities.&rdquo;<br /><br />The London First report said that without a modernisation of the Tube, commuters would be forced to face &ldquo;cattle class&rdquo; conditions in the morning rush hour by 2026. The group said 0.5m passengers, twice as many as now, would commute in conditions more crowded than having four people in a phone box. It predicts that without improvement, average Tube temperatures would reach 32 degrees Celsius, in excess of EU regulatory limits for transporting livestock. <br /><br />Baroness Valentine, chief executive of London First, said: &ldquo;Tube modernisation must not falter, or we risk sentencing Londoners to decades of Underground misery&hellip; Together with Crossrail, a modernised Tube will be the lifeblood of a transport system fit for a growing, prosperous world city.&rdquo;