Tag Archives: london underground

Spare a thought for London Underground staff today

On the day of the last tube strike, I wrote that, unusually for me, I had some sympathy with what the unions were saying:

Let’s think about this a little. How would you feel if you were used to working a certain pattern of hours and your employer then told you that you would have to start working round the clock? (Party staff, please don’t answer that. I know you all work pretty much round the clock anyway.) You may have other responsibilities or require additional childcare and incur extra costs if you have to change to a different shift pattern.

There is a view I’ve seen articulated in a number of places that tube drivers earn £50,000 a year and should just get on with it. Actually, I don’t hold with that. I tend to value the people who provide services to me. Every time I step on a tube train, I’m relying on the drivers to keep me safe therefore I feel that I have some obligation to support them having decent pay and working conditions. It seems that the management has been less than effective at doing what they are paid to do – manage the change in the organisation.

I still feel that way, more so,  in fact.  Have a read of this very practical account of what the proposed changes to shift patterns will mean, written by a ticket officer. 

Posted in News | Also tagged | 89 Comments

An unexpected consequence of opening up data

I blogged recently about the welcome moves being made to open up London’s transport data to wider use. A great example of what opening up data can produce is the map showing the locations of tube trains on the network in real time – available for free and produced thanks to the enthusiasm and civic-mindedness of volunteers.

But with the current tube strikes in mind, it also shows how opening up data can produce unexpected consequences. Because what is one of the standard parts of transport strikes? It’s conflicting claims from unions and management about how widespread the impact …

Posted in London | 4 Comments

Glenda Jackson: Labour’s worst ever transport minister?

Current Secretary of Sate for Transport, Lord Adonis rightly gets praise from across the political spectrum. Although there’s by no means cross-party agreement on some transport issues (think Heathrow for a start), Adonis is generally respected even when he is disagreed with. Whilst he has an extremely strong claim to have been the best Labour transport minister since 1997, some of the competition for that accolade is not exactly stiff.

Indeed, the publication a few days ago of another cross-party Select Committee report into the failings of part-privatisation on the London Underground reminds me of just how bad Labour MP Glenda …

Posted in London | Also tagged , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 11 December 2009

Welcome to December 11th – only 20 days to go until the end of the year. Four years ago today the top story was the fire at the Buncefield oil depot which injured 43 people and was said to have been the biggest fire of its kind in peacetime Europe.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , and | Leave a comment

London Underground: should lines be completely shut to speed up engineering work?

The London Underground is used by as many people each week as the total number of people who use the nation’s railway network. Caroline Pidgeon sets out why modernising the underground is so important and why new ways of undertaking the upgrades might now be necessary.

At London’s City Hall I’m leading an Assembly investigation into overcrowding on the Tube and what Mayor Boris Johnson can do about it. For many years now Tube passengers have been used to cramming themselves into crowded trains wedged against someone’s armpits. More recently stations like Victoria, King’s Cross, London Bridge and Holborn have had …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments
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