“It is utterly demented of the RMT leadership to proceed with this strike when two thirds of their members did not vote for it and when real progress had been made in the negotiations…”
Well, it’s generally accepted as a principle of British democracy that the turnout doesn’t matter, it’s getting your horse over the line first that matters. Boris might remember this, since I don’t believe he got that close to 33% of the electorate supporting him – 1 in 6 might be closer. The RMT’s turnout was in respectable council election territory (i.e. really low), but that doesn’t stop the likes of Hammersmith and Fulham council (36% turnout) implementing their Thatcherite agenda. 80% of a two horse race is a mandate in any other UK election, so Boris is out of line here. In any case, calling the opposing side in a dispute ‘demented’ when your people are talking to their people at ACAS hardly seems like good policy.
Moving on, there’s a link to a news site for the extra travel arranged for the strike, also hosted on london.gov.uk rather than TfL:
Extra transport services have been put in place by the Mayor and Transport for London to help alleviate the disruption caused by the RMT strike: Extra transport services (opens in a new window).
or rather it doesn’t:
HTTP Error 404
Sorry, the file you requested could not be found on the server.
You may have entered the wrong address, the link that you followed may be out of date or the page you are looking for may have been moved or deleted.
To find the page you are looking for we suggest that you use our search facility at the top of the page or the site map. Alternatively, you may wish to use the primary navigation links at the top of this page to explore the site.
For more information on the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority please visit the About us page.
Oops. Checking TfL, we have another rant at the brothers, plus the advice to use PAYG on National Rail, still apparently contradicting SWT. However, further down there is what london.gov.uk was promising, a guide to alternative services. Here it is. It’s a public service, you know.
As for the alternative services, the taxi stuff is window dressing, the cycle stuff is quite smart (LCC’s idea?) but obviously only if you have a bike, the cycle parking stuff had better be secure, but is OK as far as it goes – not sure what the point in parking your bike at London Bridge when you work in the City is, though, although I suppose it’s not far to walk. TfL don’t make clear if you have to apply for an access card as usual or whether the extra spaces will be free (normally £1.50 a day), which is an oversight.
The extra riverboat service is a good idea, but again only for some journeys owing to the limitations of the river itself – it’ll get you from Waterloo to the City eventually, is probably the best way to look at it.
In truth there’s not much else they could have done – lifting the congestion charge would have been an appalling move considering the likely knock on effect on overstretched bus traffic and parking, so at least they avoided that. The truth is that London needs the Tube, so if you can work from home, do so, if you can walk or cycle in that’s a good option, but beyond that it’s going to be pretty rotten.
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