Underground Economy: Financing the London Tube

    By David J Weston

    An alternate London currency could be issued which would help to raise money for London Transport. Along the lines of the Welsh Currency idea the currency would be sold at, say, a 10% discount, meaning that £1 will buy £1.10 worth of ‘£ondons’, or £100 would buy £110 worth of ‘£ondons’.

    They could be sold through tourist centres, London civic offices, and, of course, the Underground and Transport offices. These could then be used in participating businesses in London.

    ‘£ondons’, or ‘Tubes’ could act as an alternate currency which would even float against the pound but which would not be allowed to be speculated on in any so-called ‘money market’.

    As this becomes an acceptable London currency, then workers could get paid in ‘£ondons’, and certain local materials could be bought with ‘£ondons’ for the rebuilding of infrastructure, including the Tube. Specifically, ‘£ondons’ would be available for purchasing season Underground tickets.

    This currency would generate productive activity within London, and could become a model for many places.

    Others, such as Dr Shann Turnbull of Australia, are also advocating such local currency economies, suggesting the name ‘Transits’. Also see Cities and the Wealth of Nations by Jane Jacobs, especially Chapters 11 and 12.

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