Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Livingstone - Tram spotter

We do not see much of the Mayor in these parts, but he has developed a keen interest in Croydon's tram system:

New information has now come to light. In October last year, HMRI found Tramtrack Croydon Ltd to be in breach of both the Health and Safety at Work Act and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. As a result, Tramtrack Croydon Ltd was served with two Improvement Notices. These are legal notices informing the company that they have broken the law and that in order to avoid prosecution by HMRI, they must meet certain conditions within a set time limit. Tramtrack Croydon Ltd failed to inform TfL, as they are contractually obliged to do, of these notices". Source.

Ever the one to be in favour of upholding contracts, if Tramtrack are in breach then doubtless there will, and should be, consequences. However, guess who thinks it should go just a wee bit further:

"This leaves me no choice but to call for the directors of Tramtrack Croydon Ltd to resign and for the company to sack its entire management team. I would urge the banks and shareholders to hand the company over to Transport for London so it can be safely, efficiently and reliably managed, allowing those who live or work in Croydon to enjoy the service they deserve".

Showing a most selective use of facts, Livingstone notes that two of the three improvement notices issued to tram operators have been issued to Tramtrack Croydon Ltd. Given that are only a handful of tram systems in the UK, this is not that much of a shocker, frankly. A more useful comparison would be with rail operators, and lo and behold there are multiple repeat offenders among the othe rail companies. The Office of Rail Regulation has the details, complete with monetary figures marked against each offence. Given that the figures are variously ten pence and twenty pence, if they are fines I suspect the companies were not that concerned.

That Livingstone might have more on his mind than safety, efficiency and reliability of the network is suggested by the TFL site: " TfL is directed by a management board whose members are chosen for their understanding of transport matters and appointed by Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, who chairs the Board".

Naturally there has never been a health / safety breach by the underground or bus network. Or has there? The HSE has ten pages worth...

(BTC continues to be Croydonian)

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