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Transport Supplementary Grant (London)

Volume 35: debated on Thursday 27 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what will be the transport supplementary grant settlement for Greater London in 1983–84.

The transport supplementary grant settlement for 1983–84 which I announced on 16 December last, is a high settlement for Londoners. I have accepted for grant in Greater London over £460 million expenditure, 15 per cent. higher than the very substantial figure I accepted for 1982–83. The GLC will get over £200 million in grant. These figures reflect the special transport needs of London as our capital city and the priority the Government are giving to tackling them.The amount of revenue support I have accepted for London Transport means that there will be absolutely no need for any increase in fares in 1983–84 which could therefore be back to their September 1980 level in real terms by the end of the financial year. This represents a realistic provision of resources to secure the stability which is so badly needed. It will provide a firm foundation, with the protection from legal challenge to be provided by my Transport Bill, for forward planning to secure more cost-effective public transport provision.A substantial level of capital expenditure is also being accepted—16 per cent. more than this year and this has been allowed for in full in the capital allocations given to the GLC. The public transport element includes additional resources for the GLC's share of expenditure on the extension of the Piccadilly line to terminal 4 at Heathrow and on the docklands light railway which were announced some months ago and are being designated as projects of national or regional importance. It will provide for London Transport's needs to renew their infrastructure as well as a reasonable level of new investment.The level of capital expenditure which I have accepted for highways is almost 20 per cent. higher than the corresponding figure for this year. This will permit the GLC to press ahead with work on much-needed schemes such as the Rochester way relief road and the docklands northern relief road and many others. The figure might have been even higher were it not for the recent disturbing pattern of local authority underspending on highways improvement in London.