Mobiles on the Tube

Meeting with Simon Hughes (LibDem Mayoral Candidate) myself and Tim O’Toole (Managing Director of London Underground for TfL).

A number one on the LibDem list for the London Assembly elections in June, I accompany Simon to many of his meetings with the transport top brass as he consults them on his ideas for his manifesto or statements to make sure they are robust and make sense to those working on the frontline of providing public services.

One item Simon brought up was the issue of enabling mobile phone use on the underground. This is something that is being worked on by TfL currently, but the tragic events in Madrid in which a mobile phone was probably used to detonate the bombs, means a rethink maybe necessary.

Tim thought that the safety provided by letting travellers use mobile phones more than outweighed the bombing risk. He pointed out that terrorists could use any method of detonation. Indeed, as I pointed out – given terrorists looked like being caught from tracing contacts on the one mobile phone that didn’t detonate its bomb, it probably wouldn’t be the

method of choice next time.

Anyway – as I said – these meetings are confidential so that we can discuss frankly policy ideas in advance of any decisions on what policy to put in the manifesto before June’s elections, but Transport for London virtually immediately (and certainly very suddenly after the meeting) issued a press release on mobile phones and their future on the underground following the Madrid bombing. Bad behaviour indeed!