Humps and tubes

Assemble in the chamber for the three-minute silence. Brief speech by Ken followed by the silence. Many members and staff of the Assembly gathered. It feels appropriate to mark such an event with some formality.

Then, telephone interview with Transcalm.They are undertaking a marketing exercise to see how their ‘magic’ hump can best become a nice little earner. I inform the interviewer of my view that Dunlop were short-sighted (I may have used the term stupid) to have failed to take up the opportunities of a trial in Haringey.

Basically this road hump lies flat if you go over at the prescribed speed but remains a hump if you are speeding (as you pass over it too fast for it to deflate). I love the idea of rewarding good driving and punishing bad.

To date – the ‘magic’ hump has been trialled thus: two humps in a slip road in Puddle Dock. I suggest that they run it on a residential road in Haringey and/or a bus lane. When I set up a meeting to facilitate this in Haringey – the price they wanted to charge was still 50% of the normal price. Now these babies are not cheap – particularly in the short term – and the company who will make a mint if they take off should be willing to give a better deal than that to councils or authorities willing to give it a trial.

Then on to looking at Transport for London’s overspend on their budget (for budget committee tomorrow). They are £70 million over – despite raised fares – and have lots of problems with Oyster card bugs. So if they are going to bug London’s travellers, I am going to bug them about their bugs.

My other bugbear (excuse the pun) today is that London Underground have missed 4 out of 6 of their reliability targets. I got the answer to a Mayoral question and it’s a sadly familiar pattern: targets missed, performance down. It just adds insult to injury when the tube fares are the highest in the world, have just been raised and this coincides with big cheese Bob Kiley’s £51,000 rise and the tubeworkers’ 5.2%.

Guess who isn’t invited to the table – me and you. We pay more and get less. Bet Ken wouldn’t use that as his manifesto message.