Arriving soon... pay-as-you-go Oyster travel on overground

PUBLISHED: 15:10 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:17 25 August 2010

LONDON S top transport chief has given his word that the pay-as-you-go Oyster system will be in use on all overground services early in the New Year.

LONDON'S top transport chief has given his word that the pay-as-you-go Oyster system will be in use on all overground services early in the New Year.

In an interview with the Times, Boris Johnson's director of transport policy for London, Kulveer Ranger, said plans outlined in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, published last week, would greatly improve travel in Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich.

He spoke of the benefits of Crossrail for Bexley and of new river transport for Greenwich.

Mr Ranger said that, although Transport for London (TfL) was not trying to encourage more motorists, it understood that car use was unavoidable for some people living in outer boroughs such as Bromley and would try to ease congestion and improve traffic flow.

Asked whether there had been any progress on reversing the controversial decision to cancel the tramlink to Crystal Palace, Mr Ranger said: "The key thing we have is funding restraints. That's what is causing us problems.

"The tramlink didn't have any funding ever attached to it. We know there are a lot of people who want it but we don't want to make promises which have no substance. We are working within really difficult financial constraints."

However, Mr Ranger did say TfL was on track to deliver the pay-as-you-go system for Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich travellers early in the New Year. He said: "There have been problems with the Department for Transport. That's been the sticking point but it will be working in early 2010."

Bromley South station was highlighted in the document as needing an improvement in capacity. Asked how he would do that, Mr Ranger said: "It may be a case of making the layout better, a better design of the station itself. The signage may need to be better and it might mean moving exits and entrances around."

Speaking about improving traffic flow around Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich, he said: "We want to keep London moving. Sometimes people don't have an option but to use their motor cars. I visited Bexley during the power cut and people had been worried that it would cause congestion but it wasn't the case. Sometimes you don't need loads of traffic signals."

Mr Ranger said TfL was considering a pilot scheme in Bexley to reduce the number of traffic signals, which could then be rolled out to Bromley and Greenwich.

Speaking about improving river transport for Greenwich, he said: "There is a need for better river crossings but Thames Gateway wasn't appropriate. We do need to ease the congestion in the Blackwall Tunnel. Regarding Woolwich ferry we are looking at a new vehicle ferry at Gallions Reach."

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