The acquisition of Tube Lines by Transport for London effectively ended the PPP experiment on the Tube. There are potentially many advantages to the end of the deal, but has it left the Tube more exposed now to cutbacks on desperately needed upgrades.
Ken Livingstone needed a strong challenger with a coherent vision in the race for Labour Mayoral nomination. Whilst Oona King has many positive qualities she’s so far failed to articulate a clear vision for London and time’s running out fast. If she’s to stand a chance at getting the nomination (or my vote for that matter) she needs to quickly fill in the significant gaps in her policy positions and steer clear of recent personalised attacks.
Boris’ scheme to put motorbikes into bus lanes was always ill-conceived. Today’s data from the first trial period shows its downright dangerous for many road users. He should swallow his pride and scrap the extension of the trial now before more people get hurt unnecessarily.
A house move and lack of internet connection are not conducive to blogging. So, its rather late but I thought I’d write a quick blog about Boris’s cycle hire scheme. Dave Hill had the details earlier in August. It is a subject that I am somewhat conflicted on. As I commented in the post itself, it seems rather churlish to have a go at a scheme which might increase cycling generally as this can only be a good thing. My problem isn’t really with the scheme itself but in why Boris has determined it to be a such a priority.
The House of Commons Transport Select Committee published its report into the disruption caused to London’s transport system by the heavy snowfalls in February this year. Predictably its been fairly critical of Boris’s role in managing the impact of the incident. You’ll remember his appearance in front of the committee – its the occasion he threatened to flounce out of the meeting when the questioning got a bit too tough. So perhaps just as predictably its not a surprise that Boris has pronounced himself not too impressed with their conclusions. Calling the report
“partisan and wholly opportunistic”
the BBC also reports his spokesman saying:
“With the benefit of hindsight it is even clearer to the Mayor that putting buses on icy roads, which could not be cleared, would have been irresponsible, dangerous and potentially lethal. The Mayor is pleased that today we are arguing over a select committee report, rather than giving evidence at an inquest into why Londoners have been injured unnecessarily on the icy roads.”
Whilst the first comment can be dismissed as politics as usual, the second is a piece of deliberate misdirection that would make Derren Brown proud.
As you might have seen Boris Johnson, our cycling mayor, had a near-miss over the weekend. Along with Kulveer Ranger (his Transport Director), Peter Hendy (TfL Commissioner) and Lord Adonis (Transport Minister) he was on a scouting mission around London for routes for his ‘cycle highways’ policy. Looking at video of the incident, it looks truly horrendous and exactly the sort of accident that could easily have given rise to serious injuries, if not worse. So we should be grateful that nobody was hurt. I can certainly sympathise – as a daily cyclist from North into Central London I can attest that whilst potentially serious incidents aren’t common they are still too frequent for comfort.
Hello – and welcome to the blog. The posts here mostly about the things I care about, (London) politics, cycling and life in North London. Occasionally you might see one about IT Product Management which is what I do between the hours of 9-5 daily. Of course if you did see one of those then view expressed there would naturally be my own and not those of my employer.
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