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Mayor Johnson

Why the Tube unions are barking

Unusually for me I went into town today and was not greatly inconvenienced by the Tube strike unless you count having to spend £27 on cabs to get me from Paddington to Westminster and back. Today’s headline in the Standard is “Defiant commuters beat the Tube strike to get to work”. I saw lots of people walking and cycling in largely good humour.

In a comment piece Simon Jenkins rails against “dinosaur” Bob Crow. I think he draws the wrong conclusions by suggesting that Crossrail should be cancelled and funds directed at existing services. Jenkins is mixing up capital and revenue.

The real problem with the Tube is that fares are extremely high yet Tube costs are so out of control that the Treasury has to inject almost £600 million a year of subsidy into it. You can run six Ealing hospitals for that kind of money. Bob Crow is mad if he thinks that the rest of the country is going to bear giving Londoners 56p every time they get on a Tube. Tube costs have got to be bought down and Crow’s overpaid members are a large part of the problem. See five year’s worth of revenue and expenditure figures below (taken from TfL website here).