Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat Londonwide Assembly Member, challenged the Mayor and the Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL) to ensure that the Board of TfL are far more effective in scrutinising the work of the transport organisation.
At a Plenary session at City Hall Caroline Pidgeon highlighted how at the last TfL Board meeting, the Commissioner’s extensive written report (53 pages in total) and his further oral report (which he spends over an hour providing) failed to report at all on the following issues:
- Delays to the opening of the Northern Line extension
- Severe problems with starting new electric trains and the reduction in service on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line
- Public Health England publishing a significant new report highlighting that some pollutants at Tube stations could be 30 times higher than beside busy roads in the capital
At the TfL Board meeting the issue of Crossrail was also buried down the agenda. It was only three and a half hours into the meeting that it was revealed to TfL Board members that the line would now definitely not open in 2019.
Setting out why TfL Board needs to become far more effective in scrutinising the running of TfL, Caroline Pidgeon said:
“The Mayor has a very specific manifesto commitment to openness and transparency in his administration. Sadly, this is not being followed through.
“It is incredible that such important transport issues were not reported by the Commissioner to the TfL Board.
“The delays to the opening of Crossrail and the Northern Line extension, not to mention the fiasco facing users of the Barking to Gospel Oak line will not be resolved by hiding away from these issues.”