Tag Archives: TfL

Delusional Sadiq Khan’t

Boris Johnson’s attempt to ease lockdown is confusing, opaque, and above all, contradictory; but nowhere more than for London. However, his efforts to perplex people have been totally eclipsed by the irrationality and logical contradictions in the response by the wholly inadequate Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

In summary, BoJo urged people to return to work where possible as part of the easing of COVID restrictions, but to avoid public transport in so doing. The reason for this last restriction was simply because social distancing is obviously impossible for London commutes at the best of times, but on the highly reduced current train, tube and bus services even more so. What he didn’t explain is how this would work for the 750,000 workers who normally commute daily into Central London by train. So Bojo’s edict is is fine for commuters in Cumnor, Oxfordshire (pop 5,700), but patently impossible for London.

Numbers first. Taking Government figures, the average London commute is over 70 minutes. In normal times, around 750,000 to 800,000 passengers arrive in the morning peak in the London Terminal stations, to then filter through to their place of work. The fact that they have arrived by train surely indicates that these citizens did not live within walking or cycling distance – in fact, the same Government figures show the average London commuter journey to be 13 miles each way.

Now to Sadiq, with ultimate responsibility for commuter infrastructure in London. On 15/05/20, he stated in a tweet “Londoners will not be able to use TfL in anywhere near the same numbers for the foreseeable future. That’s why we’re finding new ways for people to cycle and walk, including creating one of the largest car-free areas in any capital in the world.” His fascination with cycling probably results from rendering TfL to be near bankruptcy as a result of a £2 billion hit from his freezing fares for the last 4 years. His approach is exemplified by his recent extortion of a further £1.5 billion from the taxpayer to fund his unworkable transport schemes.

Ok, so perhaps those returning to work could drive into town ? Well, first of all, the Congestion Charge is to be hiked to £15 per day, just to deter those contemplating not walking or cycling the average 13 miles into work. However, to underscore this, Sadiq is to ban cars from those very areas where commuters are most likely to be bound for. However , (polluting diesel) buses will be allowed in the car free zones, but of course not many of them. (“not … anywhere near the same numbers”)

None of this is remotely coherent, and the statements by both BoJo and Khan (who probably lives with ambling distance of City Hall in some grace and favour pad) are conflicting at best and downright meaningless in their implausibility of implementation.

Assume that 40% of those isolating who work in central London go back to work, just how do either of these blustering, sound bite driven, con men expect some maybe 400,000 commuters to get to work? Having largely eradicated the possibility of car, tube, or bus, it seems that walking or cycling 13 miles to work every day apparently remains the only option offered for the significant majority.

How Sadiq Khan’t imagines, even in his wildest fantasies, a few hundred thousand commuters at average distances can really cycle or walk (4.3 hours each way for the average commuter) into the city? He is either delusional or incapable of understanding commuter demographics – the man is, simply put, not up to the job.

BoJo recently had a near death physical experience at the hands of a virus. When these two inept politicians are eventually (as they will be) put to the popular vote, they may well expect political eradication at the hands of rational voters tired of their inability to convert a punchy strap line into workable and coherent strategies.