True or false. If it is not right, please, correct it.
Transport in London
Transport is one of the four main areas of policy administered by the Mayor of London, however the mayor's financial control does not extend to the longer distance rail network that enters London. In 2007 he assumed responsibility for some local lines, which now form the London Overground network, adding to the existing responsibility for the London Underground, trams and buses. The public transport network is administered by Transport for London (TfL) and is one of the most extensive in the world. Cycling is an increasingly popular way to get around London. The London Cycling Campaign lobbies for better provision.
The lines that formed the London Underground, as well as trams and buses, became part of an integrated transport system in 1933 when the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) or London Transport was created. Transport for London (TfL), is now the statutory corporation responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London, and is run by a board and a commissioner appointed by the Mayor of London.
London is a major international air transport hub with the largest city airspace in the world. Eight airports use the word London in their name, but most traffic passes through six of these. London Heathrow Airport, in Hillingdon, West London, is the busiest airport in the world for international traffic, and is the major hub of the nation's flag carrier, British Airways. In March 2008 its fifth terminal was opened. There were plans for a third runway and a sixth terminal however these were cancelled by the Coalition Government on 12 May 2010. In September 2011 a personal rapid transit system was opened at Heathrow to connect to a nearby car park.
Similar traffic, with the addition of some low-cost short-haul flights, is also handled at Gatwick Airport, located south of London in West Sussex.
Stansted Airport, situated north east of London in Essex, is the main UK hub for Ryanair and Luton Airport to the north of London in Bedfordshire, caters mostly for low-cost short-haul flights. London City Airport, the smallest and most central airport, is focused on business travellers, with a mixture of full service short-haul scheduled flights and considerable business jet traffic.
London Southend Airport, east of London in Essex, is a smaller, regional airport that mainly caters for low-cost short-haul flights. It recently went through a large redevelopment project including a brand new terminal, extended runway and a new railway station offering fast links into the capital. EasyJet currently have a base at the airport.
Buses and trams
London's bus network is one of the largest in the world, running 24 hours a day, with 8,000 buses, 700 bus routes, and over 6 million passenger journeys made every weekday. In 2003, the network had an estimated 1.5 billion commuter trips per annum, more than the Underground. Around £850 million is taken in revenue each year. London has the largest wheelchair accessible network in the world and, from the 3rd quarter of 2007, became more accessible to hearing and visually impaired passengers as audio-visual announcements were introduced. The distinctive red double-decker buses are internationally recognised, and are a trademark of London transport along with black cabs and the Tube.
London has a modern tram network, known as Tramlink, based in Croydon in South London. The network has 39 stops, three routes and carried 26.5 million people in 2008. Since June 2008 Transport for London has completely owned Tramlink and plans to spend £54m by 2015 on maintenance, renewals, upgrades and capacity enhancements. Since April 2009 all trams have been refurbished.
Cycling in London has enjoyed a renaissance since the turn of the Millennium. Cyclists enjoy a cheaper, and often quicker, way around town than those by public transport or car, and the launch of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme in July 2010 has been successful and generally well received.
From being the largest port in the world, the Port of London is now only the second-largest in the United Kingdom, handling 45 million tonnes of cargo each year. Most of this actually passes through the Port of Tilbury, outside the boundary of Greater London.
The London Underground — all of which is now commonly referred to as the Tube, though originally this designation referred only to the deep-level lines, as distinct from the sub-surface lines — is the oldest, and second longest metro system in the world, dating from 1863. The system serves 270 stations and was formed from several private companies, including the world's first underground electric line, the City and South London Railway.
Over three million journeys are made every day on the Underground network, over 1 billion each year. An investment programme is attempting to address congestion and reliability problems, including £7 billion (ˆ10 billion) of improvements planned for the 2012 Summer Olympics. London has been commended as the city with the best public transport. The Docklands Light Railway, which opened in 1987, is a second, more local metro system using smaller and lighter tram-type vehicles which serve Docklands and Greenwich.
There is an extensive above-ground suburban railway network, particularly in South London, which has fewer Underground lines. London houses Britain's busiest station – Waterloo with over 184 million people using the interchange station complex (which includes Waterloo East station) each year. The stations have services to South East and South West London, and also parts of South East and South West England. Most rail lines terminate around the centre of London, running into eighteen terminal stations with the exception of the Thameslink trains connecting Bedford in the north and Brighton in the south via Luton and Gatwick airports.
Since 2007 high-speed Eurostar trains link St. Pancras International with Lille, Paris, and Brussels. Journey times to Paris and Brussels of two-and-a-quarter hours and one hour 50 minutes respectively make London closer to continental Europe than the rest of Britain by virtue of the High Speed 1 rail link to the Channel Tunnel while the first high speed domestic trains started in June 2009 linking Kent to London.
Although the majority of journeys involving central London are made by public transport, car travel is common in the suburbs. The inner ring road (around the city centre), the North and South Circular roads (in the suburbs), and the outer orbital motorway (the M25, outside the built-up area) encircle the city and are intersected by a number of busy radial routes—but very few motorways penetrate into inner London. The M25 is the longest ring-road motorway in the world at 195.5 km (121.5 mi) long. The A1 and M1 connect London to Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle.
A plan for a comprehensive network of motorways throughout the city (the Ringways Plan) was prepared in the 1960s but was mostly cancelled in the early 1970s. In 2003, a congestion charge was introduced to reduce traffic volumes in the city centre. With a few exceptions, motorists are required to pay £10 per day to drive within a defined zone encompassing much of congested central London. Motorists who are residents of the defined zone can buy a vastly reduced season pass which is renewed monthly and is cheaper than a corresponding bus fare. London is notorious for its traffic congestion, with the M25 motorway the busiest stretch in the country. The average speed of a car in the rush hour is 10.6 mph (17.1 km/h). London government initially anticipated the Congestion Charge Zone to increase daily peak period Underground and bus users by 20,000 people, reduce traffic by 10 to 15 percent, increase traffic speeds by 10 to 15 percent, and reduce queues by 20 to 30 percent. Over the course of several years, the average number of cars entering the centre of London on a weekday was reduced from 195,000 to 125,000 cars – this is a 35-percent reduction of vehicles driven per day.
2. Read once again and answer to the questions:
1. Which sort of transport does exist in London?
2. Who is administered the public transport network by?
3. When was created the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) or London Transport?
4. Name the main airports.
5. Which is the busiest airport in the world for international traffic?
6. What can you say about modern tram network?
7. Is London's bus network one of the largest in the world?
8. Which sort of transport is cheaper, and often quicker, way around town?
9. Which is the largest port?
10. What’s the nickname of the London Underground?
11. When was it build?
12. Why does the author tell that “London closer to continental Europe than the rest of Britain”?
13. Where is car travel common?
14. What is the longest ring-road motorway in the world?
15. Name the motorways which connected London to Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle.
16. What is the Ringways Plan?
17. What is the average speed of a car in the rush hour?
18. What does the Government do for reducing traffic jams?
True or false. If it is not right, please, correct it.
1. The public transport network is administered by Transport for London (TfL).
2. London's bus network isn’t one of the largest in the world.
3. The lines that formed the London Underground, as well as trams and buses, became part of an integrated transport system in 1953.
4. London has a modern tram network, known as Port of London.
5. London government initially anticipated the Congestion Charge Zone to increase daily peak period Underground and bus users by 20,000 people, reduce traffic by 10 to 15 percent, increase traffic speeds by 10 to 15 percent, and reduce queues by 20 to 30 percent.
6. London houses Britain's busiest station – Edinburgh with over 184 million people using the interchange station complex (which includes Waterloo East station) each year.
7. Over five million journeys are made every day on the Underground network, over 4 billion each year.
8. London has been commended as the city with the best public transport.
9. Most rail lines terminate around the suburbs of London, running into eighteen terminal stations.
10. Heathrow Airport is situated north east of London in Essex.
Make a dialogue
Imagine that one of you is a head of London government and another is an interviewer. Speak about transport troubles.