Blog: An outbreak of goodwill at TfL

By Giles Broadbent on September 11, 2012 1:53 PM |

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It was slaps on the back all round at the London Assembly this morning as transport commissioner Peter Hendy took a bow for delivering a successful games.

Such was the level of bonhomie and goodwill that the usually curmudgeonly Mr Hendy seemingly softened and announced that he wouldn't be issuing penalty charge notices for people who drove in Games lanes.

As a gesture of goodwill and gratitude to commuters for not making his life a misery, he said the people of London "got it" and so didn't deserve to be upbraided by travel meanies.

As one transport committee member suggested he may soon be addressing "Sir Peter", the bullish commissioner said: "We have all demonstrated with the transport system - and with everyone who lives and works in London - that actually when it comes to putting on the world's biggest sporting event we can do it."

Referring to the Games lanes, he said: "We always said that we were seeking compliance - we got 98 per cent compliance and sent out 23,000 warning notices. We did in the end issue 6,473 penalty charge notices [for ignoring traffic regulations] but we decided not to issue PCNs just for driving in Games lanes.

"[Games lanes] were generally respected by people, they did understand what was going, the people who live and work in London are profoundly sensible and got all this so we thought on our part we would not to issue large number of PCNs."

He also said "the soft legacy" of the Games would be a better understanding of passenger experience.

Surely, if TfL has a human face in future surely it is true what they say - we are a changed nation.

But it was back to business as usual once the party was over. Committee chairwoman Caroline Pidgeon complained at a report to the committee on biking safety arrived very late and incomplete.

Mr Hendy pointed out that the backroom staff normally compiling such reports had been out and about, directing passengers and generally being the ones that a few minutes earlier, the committee had been cheering.

Of the two tasks, he said, the biggest sporting event in the world took priority. He apologised, but begrudgingly.

Still, said Ms Pidgeon, the tardiness was "unfortunate".

The honeymoon is over.

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