Transport for London Bill falls but wider public land issue remains

Transport for London Bill falls but wider public land issue remains

A small group of petitioners and MPs have stopped the capital’s transport body having more property development powers but what is the best use to make of exploitable public land?

Last week saw the collapse of the arcane but important Transport for London Bill, a piece of would-be legislation that aimed to give the capital’s transport body greater powers to enter into complex partnerships with property developers in the name of generating cash long term. Londoners weary of over-crowed buses and ever-rising fares might have been inclined to wish them luck, but others had denounced the move as creating as a “speculators’ charter” which risked creating far more pain than gain.

Whatever, it’s bitten the dust. Credit for that is shared between a small group of Londoners who petitioning against it, all of them unhappy about TfL’s involvement with the atrocious Earls Court redevelopment scheme, and a handful of MPs who “talked out” the Bill, principally Labour’s John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Slaughter (who represents part of the Earls Court project area) and Respect’s George Galloway. Those watching Labour’s potential future London mayors should note that listed opponents included shadow London minister Sadiq Khan.

A visionary mayor could help meet the growing need for school places, or set-up a network of community-owned housing, or even build a property empire generating a big income each year.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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