Normally when a senior member of Boris’s team leaves, we respond with a mixture of ‘haha’ and ‘phew’.  Today we respond with ‘oh shit’.  Tim O’Toole, MD of London Underground and one of the best transport managers in the country, has decided his future lies away from leading the Underground through the next few decidedly challenging years.

A US citizen who was awarded an honorary CBE for his organisation’s response to the July 7 attacks, the reasons for his resignation were not clear last night, but it has been an open secret within City Hall that the Underground boss is keen to move back to the United States with his family.

I did pick up rumours that, as an American, he would at some point feel that he’d spent long enough out of the USA.  Also, with President Obama in the White House, the prospects for rail-based transit in the USA are brighter than they’ve been for a while, and that could be much more rewarding than trying to balance the demands of the failed PPP structure (which O’Toole always rightly opposed), the recession and Boris’s spending cuts, not to mention all the fun of working with Kulveer Ranger.

When it comes down to it we really don’t know why he’s gone.  All that’s certain is that Boris has lost one of the two people he needed to make a go of his transport policy, the other of course being Peter Hendy.  Fortunately we still have him, but for how long?  Who the hell does Boris get to run LUL?  Will Andrew Gilligan be satisfied with the appointment and consequent salary?  All this and much more to come, one suspects.

Best of luck, Tim, and thank you.

Update – the Times has more, and suggests it was more sudden and a bit less orderly than the PR suggests.

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3 Responses to Tim O’Toole Leaves London Underground

  1. Underground Inspector says:

    Is it because of question 501 asked by Roger Evans on 20/02/08…

    Roger asked has ‘anybody worked for LUL in the past year whilst being barred from BTP Premises’?

    A man worked for LUL for approx 8 years between 1999 – 2007 installing Comms equipment on the JLEP – Then was senior engineer working on the LLCCTV system with free access to NSY and BTP premises – Then was an Inspector overseeing metronet on Station Modernisations dealing with security issues- standard of works-H&S Issues- reporting to LUL Directors and Managers SENT OUT TO CHECK SECURITY ON BOTH NIGHTS OF THE LONDON BOMBINGS ALL whilst being followed by Met Police between 1996 and 2006 wrongly labelled a cat C football hooligan and barred from BTP Premises as a threat to their SECURITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ken or LUL gave an incorrect answer to this question and many organisations have held investigations it has been through the DfT – LUL – TfL – Mayors QT – Several MP’s and Andrew Gilligan – David Cohen all know the situation but NONE of them have the guts to address this situation.

    The man now has been barred from GLA premises as VEXTATIOUS…ITS A JOKE BUT IT AINT FUNNY!!!!

  2. Tom says:

    Yer what?

    Something else I picked up is the NAO report into PPP, which is going to throw a bucket of poo over Gordon Brown, but there’s a suggestion that TOT’s attitude might have played a part. It’s due out in April, just when he’s leaving. There might be unpleasantness if some spin doctor tries to say ‘aha, it was all his fault’.

    Frankly I think his attitude of ‘this sucks’ was about right, and it’s obvious to me where the blame lies for PPP.

  3. Elsa Duarte says:

    Do you now this e-mail?
    And Mr. Peter Webster, Rachel Lee?
    They are criminals?
    Please answer me as soon as possible.
    Thank you.
    Elsa Duarte (Portugal)

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