TRANSPORT NEWS: Study highlights threat to London's reputation

London's status as a world city is under serious threat from its creaking public transport infrastructure, latest research warns.

A study for the Corporation of London comparing the capital's infrastructure investment with that of Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Paris in the past 30 years finds that its commuters endure the worst services.

Case studies in the report show that a 19.3km journey across London takes an hour and a half, while in Amsterdam it is 55 minutes. In Frankfurt, a 25km journey takes 40 minutes, while a 32km trip in Brussels lasts 80 minutes.

The study, by accountants and consultants KPMG, shows 93 per cent of trains arrive on time in Paris while in London this falls to just 75 per cent. One in four passengers in the UK capital are dissatisfied with their services while in Paris this is one in ten.

London has invested less in adding suburban rail and underground lines to its network than the other major cities, according to the study. The capital's investment in new railways amounted to just 38km in 30 years, compared with 85km in Paris.

One area where London bucks the trend is investment in buses. But the report warns that the capital needs the funding stability and consistent financial support enjoyed elsewhere in Europe.

"London risks losing its pre-eminent world city role if transport improvements are further delayed," warned corporation policy and resources chairman Michael Snyder.

Comparative Public Transport Investment in Major European Cities can be viewed via www.planning.haynet.com.


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