Discussion:
Tube stations strike
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Recliner
2017-01-09 08:29:03 UTC
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Does anyone know what the latest strike us about? Is it another political
one, or do they have a legitimate case? If it's about the closed ticket
offices, surely it's a bit late for that?

It seems to be less well supported than expected, as LU is running many
more services than predicted.
tim...
2017-01-09 09:28:32 UTC
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Post by Recliner
Does anyone know what the latest strike us about? Is it another political
one, or do they have a legitimate case? If it's about the closed ticket
offices, surely it's a bit late for that?
It seems to be less well supported than expected, as LU is running many
more services than predicted.
Oh

on TV this morning they showed locked up stations

As a disinterested party I investigated no further

tim
Recliner
2017-01-09 09:46:50 UTC
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Post by tim...
Post by Recliner
Does anyone know what the latest strike us about? Is it another political
one, or do they have a legitimate case? If it's about the closed ticket
offices, surely it's a bit late for that?
It seems to be less well supported than expected, as LU is running many
more services than predicted.
Oh
on TV this morning they showed locked up stations
As a disinterested party I investigated no further
Yes, many stations are closed, but not nearly as many as predicted.
Services are therefore running on more of the network than expected. For
example, the whole Met, District and Jubilee lines are running, though I
suppose some inner London stations are being non-stopped. I think only the
Circle, Victoria and W&C are completely closed.

See
https://tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overground/status/#stations-status
Robin9
2017-01-09 10:39:10 UTC
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As I've now retired, I'm not adversely affected by
this strike. I haven't a clue what it's about but I'll g
to Walthamstow Central later today. TfL were sayin
yesterday that there would be no service at all on the
Victoria Line.

One curious feature of TfL's emails about alternative
ways to travel is their failure to mention London
Overground while suggesting passengers try National
Rail services

It's going to be interesting to see how our modest Mayo
handles this strike. As he has been campaigning for som
Southern services to be transferred to TfL with the boast
that he and TfL would have handled the dispute over DOO
far better, I do hope he will deploy his magical negotiating
skills on home ground


--
Robin9
Recliner
2017-01-09 16:35:04 UTC
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Post by Robin9
As I've now retired, I'm not adversely affected by
this strike. I haven't a clue what it's about but I'll go
to Walthamstow Central later today. TfL were saying
yesterday that there would be no service at all on the
Victoria Line.
I think that line is the only one that's stayed closed all day. I wonder
how soon it'll reopen after the strike ends at 18:00.
Post by Robin9
One curious feature of TfL's emails about alternative
ways to travel is their failure to mention London
Overground while suggesting passengers try National
Rail services.
It's going to be interesting to see how our modest Mayor
handles this strike. As he has been campaigning for some
Southern services to be transferred to TfL with the boast
that he and TfL would have handled the dispute over DOO
far better, I do hope he will deploy his magical negotiating
skills on home ground.
Yup, he's been left on the sideline, pleading for the unions to keep
talking. Given that he's already committed to hiring more station staff,
I'm not sure what else the unions want. Or maybe they just regard a Labour
mayor as a softer target than an ideological Tory transport secretary.

We now have the curious situation of a Labour mayor condemning the strike,
while the Corbynistas are no doubt cheering the strikers on (Corbyn is
part-funded by the rail unions).
r***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2017-01-09 16:55:41 UTC
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Post by Robin9
It's going to be interesting to see how our modest Mayor
handles this strike. As he has been campaigning for some
Southern services to be transferred to TfL with the boast
that he and TfL would have handled the dispute over DOO
far better, I do hope he will deploy his magical negotiating
skills on home ground.
He would, wouldn't he? He did at least admit on Radio 4 Today this morning
that pretty well all the Southern services concerned are DOO already.
--
Colin Rosenstiel
Roland Perry
2017-01-09 09:32:57 UTC
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In message
<476084610.505643156.345280.recliner.ng-***@news.eternal-septe
mber.org>, at 08:29:03 on Mon, 9 Jan 2017, Recliner
Post by Recliner
Does anyone know what the latest strike us about? Is it another political
one, or do they have a legitimate case? If it's about the closed ticket
offices, surely it's a bit late for that?
In a measured statement one of the Union bosses said earlier:

"This action has been forced on us by savage cuts to jobs that have
reduced London Underground to an under-staffed death trap at a time of
heightened security and safety alert."
--
Roland Perry
Neil Williams
2017-01-09 10:59:55 UTC
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Post by Roland Perry
"This action has been forced on us by savage cuts to jobs that have
reduced London Underground to an under-staffed death trap at a time of
heightened security and safety alert."
Perhaps they should take a ride on a German U-Bahn and see (or not see)
the staffing levels there. They would have kittens.

Neil
--
Neil Williams
Put my first name before the @ to reply.
r***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2017-01-09 13:55:08 UTC
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In article
Post by Recliner
-september.org...
Post by Recliner
Does anyone know what the latest strike us about? Is it another
political one, or do they have a legitimate case? If it's about the
closed ticket offices, surely it's a bit late for that?
It seems to be less well supported than expected, as LU is running
many more services than predicted.
Oh
on TV this morning they showed locked up stations
As a disinterested party I investigated no further
Yes, many stations are closed, but not nearly as many as predicted.
Services are therefore running on more of the network than expected. For
example, the whole Met, District and Jubilee lines are running, though I
suppose some inner London stations are being non-stopped. I think only the
Circle, Victoria and W&C are completely closed.
See https://tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overground/status/#stations-status
Which shows Good Service on the DLR, District & Metropolitan, full but
infrequent Circle, Hammersmith & City services and limited services
elsewhere, e.g. the Bakerloo only Marylebone to Harrow & Wealdstone Central
all except White City to Liverpool St, Northern Old St to Morden plus
northern extremities only, Piccadilly open air sections & Heathrow only,
Jubilee "Special service every 5 minutes with various stations closed", etc.
--
Colin Rosenstiel
Recliner
2017-01-09 15:13:19 UTC
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Post by r***@cix.compulink.co.uk
In article
Post by Recliner
Yes, many stations are closed, but not nearly as many as predicted.
Services are therefore running on more of the network than expected. For
example, the whole Met, District and Jubilee lines are running, though I
suppose some inner London stations are being non-stopped. I think only the
Circle, Victoria and W&C are completely closed.
See https://tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overground/status/#stations-status
Which shows Good Service on the DLR, District & Metropolitan, full but
infrequent Circle, Hammersmith & City services and limited services
elsewhere, e.g. the Bakerloo only Marylebone to Harrow & Wealdstone Central
all except White City to Liverpool St, Northern Old St to Morden plus
northern extremities only, Piccadilly open air sections & Heathrow only,
Jubilee "Special service every 5 minutes with various stations closed", etc.
Yes, it's been steadily improving during the day, presumably as more staff
turned up than expected.
Paul Corfield
2017-01-09 14:28:00 UTC
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Post by Recliner
Does anyone know what the latest strike us about? Is it another political
one, or do they have a legitimate case? If it's about the closed ticket
offices, surely it's a bit late for that?
It seems to be less well supported than expected, as LU is running many
more services than predicted.
Just because a station may be open does not mean lots of staff have broken the strike. May be other HQ staff and managers drafted in temporarily.

The strike has metamorphosed somewhat. The dispute goes back to Boris's decision to close all ticket offices. That policy was implemented without agreement with the RMT and TSSA. £135m was spent on closing offices. I am sure that Boris knew he was leaving a potential mess for whoever succeeded him but he didn't care. Whether you agree with this strike or not it's a bit ridiculous to just plough on without agreement of staff members. It's always going to rebound.

The rebound has now happened because it's evident that LU got the numbers wrong and assumed vast amounts of overtime would be worked. The unions implemented an overtime ban and hey presto - station closures have multiplied. My local station has been closed umpteen times and people are (rightly) livid at being mucked around. It would be even worse if the GOBLIN service was actually running. The Mayor then implemented a "review" which didn't recommend reopening offices (it was never going to) but did point out a load of flaws and issues. We are now in a situation where LU accept they have to recruit more staff while the unions are pointing out that there is natural turnover of 300 a year plus 100 current vacancies. LU propose 200 new posts - the unions are clearly arguing for far more to cover the turnover and vacancies and then raise the staffing complement. There are other issues such as loads of stations staffed with just one person plus a new grade with lower wages. I suspect they are all part of the debate but the main one is numbers. You have to ask why 800+ people were allowed to leave and now there is an acceptance that 200 more people are needed. Someone got their numbers and assumptions badly wrong somewhere.

I suspect there is a tiny bit of politics here too. The Mayor said "no strikes" which is just an encouragement to the unions to force a broken promise. Regrettably there will always be some sort of industrial action on LU or buses or DLR sometime in a 4 year period. It's therefore stupid for Mayors / candidates to set themselves up for a fall as Mayor Khan has done. Worse he's created the impression there is something better within reach "if only people sit round a table". They did that again over the weekend and got nowhere but the Mayor is still saying the same thing today. All this does is raise false hopes and run the risk of more strikes to push more concessions given the Mayor's opponents will now be slagging him off at every opportunity. Therefore the Mayor will want a settlement but will he settle at any cost? Hopefully not as the budget will be screwed even more in consequence if loads more staff are recruited again. This also sets a very poor precedent for future pay negotiations. The TUs are great at spotting weakness - as you would expect them to be.
--
Paul C
via Google
Recliner
2017-01-09 15:13:18 UTC
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Post by Paul Corfield
Post by Recliner
Does anyone know what the latest strike us about? Is it another political
one, or do they have a legitimate case? If it's about the closed ticket
offices, surely it's a bit late for that?
It seems to be less well supported than expected, as LU is running many
more services than predicted.
Just because a station may be open does not mean lots of staff have
broken the strike. May be other HQ staff and managers drafted in temporarily.
The strike has metamorphosed somewhat. The dispute goes back to Boris's
decision to close all ticket offices. That policy was implemented without
agreement with the RMT and TSSA. £135m was spent on closing offices. I am
sure that Boris knew he was leaving a potential mess for whoever
succeeded him but he didn't care. Whether you agree with this strike or
not it's a bit ridiculous to just plough on without agreement of staff
members. It's always going to rebound.
The rebound has now happened because it's evident that LU got the numbers
wrong and assumed vast amounts of overtime would be worked. The unions
implemented an overtime ban and hey presto - station closures have
multiplied. My local station has been closed umpteen times and people are
(rightly) livid at being mucked around. It would be even worse if the
GOBLIN service was actually running. The Mayor then implemented a
"review" which didn't recommend reopening offices (it was never going to)
but did point out a load of flaws and issues. We are now in a situation
where LU accept they have to recruit more staff while the unions are
pointing out that there is natural turnover of 300 a year plus 100
current vacancies. LU propose 200 new posts - the unions are clearly
arguing for far more to cover the turnover and vacancies and then raise
the staffing complement. There are other issues such as loads of stations
staffed with just one person plus a new grade with lower wages. I
suspect they are all part of the debate but the main one is numbers. You
have to ask why 800+ people were allowed to leave and now there is an
acceptance that 200 more people are needed. Someone got their numbers and
assumptions badly wrong somewhere.
I suspect there is a tiny bit of politics here too. The Mayor said "no
strikes" which is just an encouragement to the unions to force a broken
promise. Regrettably there will always be some sort of industrial action
on LU or buses or DLR sometime in a 4 year period. It's therefore stupid
for Mayors / candidates to set themselves up for a fall as Mayor Khan has
done. Worse he's created the impression there is something better within
reach "if only people sit round a table". They did that again over the
weekend and got nowhere but the Mayor is still saying the same thing
today. All this does is raise false hopes and run the risk of more
strikes to push more concessions given the Mayor's opponents will now be
slagging him off at every opportunity. Therefore the Mayor will want a
settlement but will he settle at any cost? Hopefully not as the budget
will be screwed even more in consequence if loads more staff are
recruited again. This also sets a very poor precedent for future pay
negotiations. The TUs are great at spotting weakness - as you would expect them to be.
Yup, and he's also being slagged off thus week for his 'broken' frozen
fares promise. Technically, he didn't break his promise, but you needed to
have read the legal fine print to know that he was only able to freeze the
TfL component of any fares basket, such as Travelcards. So, despite the
technically honest promise, lots of Londoners are seeing the fare rise they
thought he'd promised wouldn't happen.
tim...
2017-01-09 18:53:10 UTC
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Post by Paul Corfield
Post by Recliner
Does anyone know what the latest strike us about? Is it another political
one, or do they have a legitimate case? If it's about the closed ticket
offices, surely it's a bit late for that?
It seems to be less well supported than expected, as LU is running many
more services than predicted.
Just because a station may be open does not mean lots of staff have broken
the strike. May be other HQ staff and managers drafted in temporarily.
The strike has metamorphosed somewhat. The dispute goes back to Boris's
decision to close all ticket offices. That policy was implemented without
agreement with the RMT and TSSA. £135m was spent on closing offices. I am
sure that Boris knew he was leaving a potential mess for whoever succeeded
him but he didn't care. Whether you agree with this strike or not it's a
bit ridiculous to just plough on without agreement of staff members. It's
always going to rebound.
http://metro.co.uk/2017/01/09/why-is-there-a-tube-strike-a-london-underground-employee-explains-in-his-own-words-6371228/
Robin9
2017-01-10 11:36:30 UTC
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If the strikers' argument is that LU need to employ
more staff than at present, then certainly the previous
Mayor and TfL have questions to answer. But more staff
cost money, and this raises still further doubt about the
wisdom of freezing fares. LU claimed they could finance
the new Mayor's reckless pledge by economy savings, but
if in practice those savings mean under-staffing the system,
the whole package needs to be reviewed


--
Robin9
Recliner
2017-01-10 16:09:04 UTC
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Post by Robin9
If the strikers' argument is that LU need to employ
more staff than at present, then certainly the previous
Mayor and TfL have questions to answer. But more staff
cost money, and this raises still further doubt about the
wisdom of freezing fares. LU claimed they could finance
the new Mayor's reckless pledge by economy savings, but
if in practice those savings mean under-staffing the system,
the whole package needs to be reviewed.
The strikers are demanding more central government subsidy to pay for the
extra staff. I can't see that happening.
Paul Corfield
2017-01-11 00:37:13 UTC
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Post by Recliner
Post by Robin9
If the strikers' argument is that LU need to employ
more staff than at present, then certainly the previous
Mayor and TfL have questions to answer. But more staff
cost money, and this raises still further doubt about the
wisdom of freezing fares. LU claimed they could finance
the new Mayor's reckless pledge by economy savings, but
if in practice those savings mean under-staffing the system,
the whole package needs to be reviewed.
The strikers are demanding more central government subsidy to pay for the
extra staff. I can't see that happening.
Well that is really a different argument. The removal of all govt subsidy from the transport network in London is ludicrous. Capital cities need efficient and affordable public transport to work properly. Nowhere else in the world has the policy framework we have. It is pushing TfL to make all sorts of poor decisions about priorities and it places the network's finances under a great deal of potential stress.

If the economy declines in the next 4-5 years and Central London employment falls then TfL are going to take a big hit as are the TOCs and there's no great flexibility in the system other than cutting investment spend and reducing services. Once you start doing that in any meaningful or material way you run the risk of getting into severe problems. You also invite government to say "oh well you don't need to build Crossrail 2 / Bakerloo line extension / upgrade track and signals" because you're carrying fewer people.
--
Paul C
via Google
tim...
2017-01-11 08:37:51 UTC
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Post by Paul Corfield
Post by Recliner
Post by Robin9
If the strikers' argument is that LU need to employ
more staff than at present, then certainly the previous
Mayor and TfL have questions to answer. But more staff
cost money, and this raises still further doubt about the
wisdom of freezing fares. LU claimed they could finance
the new Mayor's reckless pledge by economy savings, but
if in practice those savings mean under-staffing the system,
the whole package needs to be reviewed.
The strikers are demanding more central government subsidy to pay for the
extra staff. I can't see that happening.
Well that is really a different argument. The removal of all govt subsidy
from the transport network in London is ludicrous. Capital cities need
efficient and affordable public transport to work properly.
And completely misses the fact that a comprehensive transit system
influences the decision of companies to place their offices/factories there,
which creates economic activity on which other taxes are collected.

Not using some of those other taxes to fund the infrastructure upon by which
that economic activity is created is short sighted.

tim
Recliner
2017-01-11 09:27:54 UTC
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Post by tim...
Post by Paul Corfield
Post by Recliner
Post by Robin9
If the strikers' argument is that LU need to employ
more staff than at present, then certainly the previous
Mayor and TfL have questions to answer. But more staff
cost money, and this raises still further doubt about the
wisdom of freezing fares. LU claimed they could finance
the new Mayor's reckless pledge by economy savings, but
if in practice those savings mean under-staffing the system,
the whole package needs to be reviewed.
The strikers are demanding more central government subsidy to pay for the
extra staff. I can't see that happening.
Well that is really a different argument. The removal of all govt subsidy
from the transport network in London is ludicrous. Capital cities need
efficient and affordable public transport to work properly.
And completely misses the fact that a comprehensive transit system
influences the decision of companies to place their offices/factories there,
which creates economic activity on which other taxes are collected.
Not using some of those other taxes to fund the infrastructure upon by which
that economic activity is created is short sighted.
The government, local and national, does subsidise TfL's infrastructure,
and will continue to do so. That's why government support is required for
all TfL's major capital investments, like Crossrail 1 and 2, the Met
Watford extension, etc. But the government wants to reduce or stop
subsidising TfL's operating costs, just as it has done with many of the
mainline TOCs.

Note that for every pound of fares income collected in the current
financial year, TfL receives £0.575 in local and central government grants.
So the government appears not to be quite as short sighted as you suggest:

https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/how-we-work/how-we-are-funded
tim...
2017-01-11 11:43:40 UTC
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Post by Recliner
Post by tim...
Post by Paul Corfield
Post by Recliner
Post by Robin9
If the strikers' argument is that LU need to employ
more staff than at present, then certainly the previous
Mayor and TfL have questions to answer. But more staff
cost money, and this raises still further doubt about the
wisdom of freezing fares. LU claimed they could finance
the new Mayor's reckless pledge by economy savings, but
if in practice those savings mean under-staffing the system,
the whole package needs to be reviewed.
The strikers are demanding more central government subsidy to pay for the
extra staff. I can't see that happening.
Well that is really a different argument. The removal of all govt subsidy
from the transport network in London is ludicrous. Capital cities need
efficient and affordable public transport to work properly.
And completely misses the fact that a comprehensive transit system
influences the decision of companies to place their offices/factories there,
which creates economic activity on which other taxes are collected.
Not using some of those other taxes to fund the infrastructure upon by which
that economic activity is created is short sighted.
The government, local and national, does subsidise TfL's infrastructure,
and will continue to do so. That's why government support is required for
all TfL's major capital investments, like Crossrail 1 and 2, the Met
Watford extension, etc. But the government wants to reduce or stop
subsidising TfL's operating costs, just as it has done with many of the
mainline TOCs.
Note that for every pound of fares income collected in the current
financial year, TfL receives £0.575 in local and central government grants.
I'm not suggesting that current funding is short sighted

I'm suggesting that aims for zero funding (to both TfL and NR) are
shortsighted

tim
Recliner
2017-01-11 12:28:33 UTC
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Post by tim...
Post by Recliner
Post by tim...
Post by Paul Corfield
Post by Recliner
Post by Robin9
If the strikers' argument is that LU need to employ
more staff than at present, then certainly the previous
Mayor and TfL have questions to answer. But more staff
cost money, and this raises still further doubt about the
wisdom of freezing fares. LU claimed they could finance
the new Mayor's reckless pledge by economy savings, but
if in practice those savings mean under-staffing the system,
the whole package needs to be reviewed.
The strikers are demanding more central government subsidy to pay for the
extra staff. I can't see that happening.
Well that is really a different argument. The removal of all govt subsidy
from the transport network in London is ludicrous. Capital cities need
efficient and affordable public transport to work properly.
And completely misses the fact that a comprehensive transit system
influences the decision of companies to place their offices/factories there,
which creates economic activity on which other taxes are collected.
Not using some of those other taxes to fund the infrastructure upon by which
that economic activity is created is short sighted.
The government, local and national, does subsidise TfL's infrastructure,
and will continue to do so. That's why government support is required for
all TfL's major capital investments, like Crossrail 1 and 2, the Met
Watford extension, etc. But the government wants to reduce or stop
subsidising TfL's operating costs, just as it has done with many of the
mainline TOCs.
Note that for every pound of fares income collected in the current
financial year, TfL receives £0.575 in local and central government grants.
I'm not suggesting that current funding is short sighted
I'm suggesting that aims for zero funding (to both TfL and NR) are
shortsighted
They're not aiming for zero funding. They just want to reduce the
*operating* costs subsidy in general, and to zero where possible.
Money will continue to be poured into infrastructure, in London and
the rest of the country.
Paul Corfield
2017-01-12 23:39:26 UTC
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Post by Recliner
Post by tim...
Post by Paul Corfield
Post by Recliner
Post by Robin9
If the strikers' argument is that LU need to employ
more staff than at present, then certainly the previous
Mayor and TfL have questions to answer. But more staff
cost money, and this raises still further doubt about the
wisdom of freezing fares. LU claimed they could finance
the new Mayor's reckless pledge by economy savings, but
if in practice those savings mean under-staffing the system,
the whole package needs to be reviewed.
The strikers are demanding more central government subsidy to pay for the
extra staff. I can't see that happening.
Well that is really a different argument. The removal of all govt subsidy
from the transport network in London is ludicrous. Capital cities need
efficient and affordable public transport to work properly.
And completely misses the fact that a comprehensive transit system
influences the decision of companies to place their offices/factories there,
which creates economic activity on which other taxes are collected.
Not using some of those other taxes to fund the infrastructure upon by which
that economic activity is created is short sighted.
The government, local and national, does subsidise TfL's infrastructure,
and will continue to do so. That's why government support is required for
all TfL's major capital investments, like Crossrail 1 and 2, the Met
Watford extension, etc. But the government wants to reduce or stop
subsidising TfL's operating costs, just as it has done with many of the
mainline TOCs.
Note that for every pound of fares income collected in the current
financial year, TfL receives £0.575 in local and central government grants.
https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/how-we-work/how-we-are-funded
Yes capital investment is supported by grants and will continue to be. The alternative is that the system breaks and people can no longer get to work. That becomes untenable for companies *and* their employees resulting in a nice political mess landing at the government's feet. Let us hope that the lessons of the 80s and early 90s in London have actually been learnt by govt.

However the other side of the debate is that removing operational subsidy is also damaging if fares are so high that people can't travel efficiently or at all to reach their jobs. There is also a tipping point, for part of the travel market, where ludicrous fares just tip people into cars. I accept that's unlikely for most trips into Central London but London is not exactly devoid of congestion in the suburbs, on cross boundary journeys or on orbital journeys. We can already see with TOC fares that some people can no longer afford them thus forcing them to leave their jobs and possibly move location. Crossrail, DLR and Overground all have to cover their costs by around 2019 along with LU's longstanding surplusses. Quite how TfL are going to do that with a fares freeze is beyond me. I don't actually believe the fares freeze will last 4 years anyway. It will collapse under pressure being placed on the Mayor - most likely from the DfT in terms of commitments on future revenues on big projects that require govt support (CR2, Bloo extension). If the London economy tanks that will be another factor that undermines the policy.

We also have very silly decisions being taken about modal choices. Even with the removal of operational grant from TfL the bus network subsidy will be over £600m in a few years. Some of that is paid for by surplusses on other modes plus user charges / penalties. It is unclear as to where revenues from future air quality initiatives will be spent (after charging opex has been covered). Even then we are seeing cuts to cross boundary bus services and yet more sneaky frequency reductions and a multi phase programme of huge cuts to Zone 1 buses. You have to wonder quite what is going on with costs and revenues on the buses.
--
Paul C
via Google
Robin9
2017-01-11 09:07:03 UTC
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I certainly agree that current plans to increase capacity
on Network Rail are predicated on the extremely
questionable assumption that passenger numbers will at
least remain at present levels and will probably continue
to rise.

Any Government suggesting that a fairly small drop in
passenger numbers in London removes any need for more
capacity will have to fend off counter-suggestions that HS2
is now redundant. The case for HS2 is far, far weaker than
the case for more capacity in London


--
Robin9
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