OPPOSITION ASSEMBLY LEADER SLAMS BORIS JOHNSON’S ‘GUNG-HO’ APPROACH ON NIGHT TUBE plus: NETWORK RAIL FINED £2 MILLION….UK POWER NETWORK FINED MORE THAN £17,000 FOR UNSAFE NETWORKS
OPPOSITION ASSEMBLY LEADER SLAMS BORIS JOHNSON’S ‘GUNG-HO’ APPROACH ON NIGHT TUBE
Commenting on reports that the introduction of the night tube may be delayed, London Assembly Labour group leader Len Duvall said:
“By speculatively announcing a start date without any consultation with the people expected to run the service Boris Johnson’s gung-ho approach has led to disputes, disruption and now delay.
“It’s been clear for a long time that the problems facing the night tube would not be easily overcome so in a sense a delay isn’t a major surprise.
“I hope this delay will provide the breathing space necessary for unions and management to sit down and negotiate a resolution to this dispute without the need for further disruption to passengers.
“From the outset Boris Johnson has treated the night tube as more of a publicity stunt despite it being a deeply complex project.”
Commenting on the announcement by the RMT of two further underground strikes announced for 25th/26th and 27th/28th August, Mr Duvall added: “With this disruptive dispute continuing to rumble on it’s time for the Mayor to get off the side-lines and to start actively engaging with staff concerns.
“Londoners want this dispute settled, fast. “That’s only ever going to happen through negotiation. “We need to see both sides seriously committing to talks to avoid further chaos for the capital’s commuters.
“It’s clear Boris Johnson wanted the Night Tube to be one of his key legacies as London Mayor but by rushing it through without proper planning, consultation or negotiation with staff his actions have led to one of the worst industrial disputes in years.
“It’s time for him to admit that this is a problem of his own creation and start taking steps to resolve this stalemate instead of just moaning to the media.
“I understand the Mayor has never met the trade union leadership. “It’s time he did.”
NETWORK RAIL FINED £2 MILLION
Commenting on Network Rail’s £2m fine for delays including at London Bridge, Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley AM said:“This fine should be a clear message to Network Rail that the disgraceful conditions passengers had to put up with at London Bridge in the early part of this year will not be tolerated.
“Not only was the station allowed to get dangerously overcrowded, the number of cancellations often surpassed the number of trains actually running, making delays and frustration the norm.
“Instead of this money being pocketed by the rail regulator, Network Rail should be forced to spend the £2m on compensating the passengers, particularly regular commuters, who were so badly affected by the chaos at London Bridge.
“Network Rail have to be better at accurately anticipating and minimising the impact of disruptions like the London Bridge rebuild. “Sadly what we had earlier this year was an organisation repeatedly making the same mistakes” added Mr Copley,a Labour Londonwide Assembly Member.
UK POWER NETWORK FINED MORE THAN £17,000 FOR UNSAFE NETWORKS
Transport for London (TfL) say they have successfully prosecuted UK Power Network in connection with a wide range of roadwork offences.
The roadworks, which took place between December 2014 and February 2015, were carried out in Cheam, Lower Clapton and Masons Hill in Bromley.
“During the work TfL roadwork enforcement inspectors identified a range of issues, from the wrong signage to disorganised traffic management” say TfL in a statement..
“At one of the locations, Masons Hill, school children were forced into the carriageway during heavy traffic due to inadequate provision of alternative routes for pedestrians – potentially putting lives at risk.
“Westminster magistrates fined UK Power Network a total of £13,000 and ordered them to pay TfL’s full prosecution costs of £4,637, bringing the total financial penalty to more than £17,000..
“In passing sentence, the judge also said `I am unimpressed with UK Power Network’s approach to these works. ‘It is important and vital to carry out works safely and that clearly did not happen at these locations. ‘I am even more concerned about the risk to children and it was only fortunate that serious injury was avoided.’.”
Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport at TfL, said: “I’m glad that the management of UK Power Network have already taken positive action to ensure there is no repeat of this type of behaviour.
“But, regardless of promises by senior management, we will continue to monitor and firmly prosecute anyone who tries their luck carrying out unsafe working practices on our roads.”
TfL say the prosecution of UK Power Network is one of a number of ways they are working to improve conditions for all of London’s road users.
“Since April 2013, firms undertaking work anywhere in London have had to apply for a permit before they can begin digging up the roads as part of the London permit scheme.
“In addition, London’s lane rental scheme, launched by the Mayor of London and TfL on 11 June 2012, reduces road delays by encouraging utility companies to avoid digging up the busiest roads at peak traffic times. Since then, peak-time utility roadworks at traffic hotspots have reduced by more than 50 per cent.
“We are leading the way for works promoters, including utility companies, by planning and coordinating its roadworks outside of peak times, where possible, and with minimum disruption in line with the lane rental scheme requirements.
“This is part of our continuous focus on tackling poorly planned and managed roadworks, to improve the safety and reliability of London’s roads for all users and to reduce avoidable road traffic congestion.”
The London Permit Scheme, introduced in 2010, enables TfL to monitor the number of roadworks taking place on its roads at any one time and ensure that they don’t exceed the agreed limit.
This limit has since been revised to reduce the maximum number of works by a further 10pc. Traffic Police Community Support Officers (TPCSOs) are also used to clamp down on roadworks taking place outside of their permit.
Londoners can report disruptive or badly managed roadworks, as well as road defects such as potholes and damaged footpaths, by visiting https://reportit.tfl.gov.uk. Any enquiries received will be sent directly to the relevant Highway Authority (TfL or a London borough) responsible, ensuring that direct and fast action can be taken.
For more information about the wider work TfL is carrying out to keep London moving, please visit www.tfl.gov.uk/roads.