Thursday 7 February 2013

The foul weather has predictably been playing merry hell with ATO but other than that not much to report. The only thing of note is that we get regular announcements from Wood Lane that all lines are providing a “good service” apart from the Bakerloo which is experiencing “operational difficulties”. That translates as subsequent to the “kid on the track” incident the TOps are refusing to close up the doors from the cab when reversing up the sidings and are walking back checking that the carriages are empty without any assistance because they were all relocated when they had the last major reshuffle of station staff.

I read on Mayorwatch that some of the Tory Assembly Members have come up with the wizard idea of taking away our nominee passes as they reckon that giving free travel on the Tube, Buses, London Overground and the DLR to one of a staff member’s family (who also has to reside at the same address as the staff member) is costing them £35.8m in lost revenue.

Now I’m not 100% sure but I’m reasonably certain that both staff travel and the nominee passes are included in our salary packages so if the Tories want to withdraw them then LUL will have to negotiate with the Union at the next pay talks. As there are currently 21788 nominee passes in circulation I calculate that we can be expecting £1643.11 each to compensate for the loss of the passes, something I’m sure a lot of staff will be quite happy to accept as not everyone has someone they can nominate.

Talking of London Overground they’ve recently been rated as the best railway in the UK which is amazing as it’s predecessor, Silverlink Metro, was regularly rated the worst. It’s been so successful that they are going to add a extra carriage to the trains to cope with the demand. A big “Congrats” to my friend Scottish Andy who joined as a guard when LO was just starting up and has risen to semi-managerial status.

Meanwhile the cable car continues to struggle to attract passengers and the bike hire operator Serco is criticized for failing to get the bikes in the right places, you either can’t find one or you can’t get rid of one because all the racks are full. The few New Buses currently in service are still trolling along Route 38 and they will take over Route 24 in it’s entirety by the summer but with over 6000 buses on the streets of London and with only 600 New Buses on order it’s impact is hardly going to be monumental.

The obvious difference is that Ken gave us LO, Boris gave us the rest. Giving the people what they think they want is one thing, giving them something they actually need and will use is another.

That’s me done for a bit, I’ve got one last trip up to EPP and then back to LES then I’m on Annual Leave for two weeks. It’s my birthday tomorrow and at midnight I intend to be in a pub with my best friend, Luvvey Darling, spinning vinyl on a pair of turntables and getting horribly, unahsamedy, pig-hugging drunk. Happy travels, folks.


  1. Happy Birthday! =D

  2. Staff and nominee passes are not included in the salary package; they are classed as "non-contractual benefits", so, in theory, can be withdrawn at any time. This is certainly the case for post 1996 (ie post Priv)joiners to LU/LT/TfL.

  3. Now I like Ken (and hate Boris) as much as the next man but I feel I should point out that the idea for the bikes WAS introduced by Ken just before he was outed... it was just that the latter's PR team thought up the catchy name "Boris Bikes".

  4. True, Ken told his team to go check out the Paris Velib bike hire scheme and see if it could be transposed to London. Rather go with Ken's idea Boris bought the more expensive Bixi system from Montreal.