Tuesday, February 03, 2009

This Week the Snow - Next Week the Investigation

With transport services returning to normal, questions are being asked about London's resilience in the face of extreme conditions.

The Transport Committee are to hold a special session on Thursday 12th February, with witnesses from TfL. Their agenda has not yet been published but questions they should be asking include:

How exceptional was the level of snowfall?

How much warning was given and how did TfL prepare?

Was it really necessary to suspend the entire bus fleet, or was that an overreaction?

Why do the overground sections of the Tube always suffer when there is snow?

What is an appropriate level of resource to devote to rare but highly disruptive weather?

How can London avoid disruption when deep snow falls in future?

The Thursday session should be interesting, but I do wonder if just one meeting will get to the bottom of this complex problem.


martin said...

Absolutely essential that this be looked into - TfL roads where I live were all gritted and clear but the LA ones weren't gritted until well after 10AM.

I understand Boris's desire to get on with the Boroughs but if, as TfL's bulletins suggested, the boroughs let us all down Boris needs to publicly slap them.

Pete said...


In one post you complain it is unlikely that the Transport Committee will look in to what happened on Monday because the committee members are too buy playing politics, and then in the next post you complain about the committee having a meeting!

Is it, as Martin says, that you are worried it may be the boroughs rather than TfL who are found to be at fault

Roger Evans said...

Pete, at least you are reading it...

The problem (or the charm) with blogging is it's real time nature.

The first post you refer to (actually a comment on the previous thread) predicted that they wouldn't do it - So, hands up,I was wrong!

The second post (The one you are commenting on, I assume)does not 'complain about the committee having a meeting'. In fact it suggests that one meeting may not be enough.

And I suspect that some boroughs were at fault - no problem with them being named and shamed.

morris hickey said...

I do not know what happened elsewhere, but I am clear that in Redbridge (where I ceased to be a councillor almost three years ago) gritting commenced at 6.00 pm on Sunday, and continued throughout the night and during Monday. This concentrated on main roads and bus routes, and during my own brief excursion on Monday I could see no reason why buses should not have operated.

The accusation about boroughs seems to come from Transport for London (TfL). Is this a matter of the proverbial smoke and mirrors to disguise TfL's own incompetence? The prospect of heavy snow was forecast, accurately, on Thursday and Friday. One of the reasons why the government set up a Greater London Authority was to coordinate strategic services on a pan-London basis. What coordination took place on this matter of road clearance? And why did it affect tube lines and the Croydon trams that are both rail-borne rather than road? Skeleton services operating throughout the night may well have kept track clear for a Monday service. No train service operated all day between Hainault and Woodford thus depriving Redbridge residents in the Grange Hill and Roding Valley areas of all public transport on a day when people were asked not to use their cars. And even yesterday (Tuesday) no trams operated on two of the three routes.

Hardly "joined up thinking"!