Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Boris strikes out over Tube stoppages

If you live in London you've probably noticed that there's a Tube strike on today - giveaways include grumpy commuters shouting angrily at the TfL staff who ARE working, a seven-fold increase in the number of cyclists wobbling around the capital and a thousands of car owners who haven't driven in rush hour traffic since the last Tube strike clogging London's roads. Note to commuters - as Sharon O'Dea pointed out on Twitter, you could try walking for a change. Zone one is not that big...

Also Twittering away is Mr Boris Johnson, proudly declaring that a third of trains are running despite the RMT's fun and frolics. The thing is, based on Borisian Logic there shouldn't be a strike at all.

Back in early 2008, when Ken was still in charge of the Giant Glass Testicle By The Thames, mayoral candidate Boris condemned everyone's favourite newt-fancying lothario for failing to stop Tube strikes. On 3 March that year he published a transport manifesto in which he promised to:

"...look to reduce the disruption caused by strikes on the Tube by negotiating a no-strike deal, in good faith, with the Tube unions. In return for agreeing not to strike, the unions will get the security provided by having the pay negotiations conducted by an independent arbiter, whose final decision will be binding on both parties."
Two years down the line (pun not entirely unintended, sorry about that) and more than halfway through his term as Mayor, has Boris delivered on his promise of a no-strike deal?

The long lines of people waiting 45 minutes to catch a bus in order to make a journey that would take them 30 minutes to walk suggests progress has been limited at best.

Other highlights from "Getting London Moving" include "halting the proposed Tube ticket office closures" (today's strike was triggered by plans to close Tube ticket offices), "re-instating the tidal flow in the Blackwall Tunnel at the earliest opportunity" (apparently that opportunity has yet to arise) and "getting the Tube open one hour later on Friday and Saturday nights" (ha ha ha).

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