New Year's Eve (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
November 15, 2000
Question By: 
John Biggs
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


It is worth saying that one of the best approaches to a political retreat is to run like hell and cause as much confusion as possible, and I think that Ken has done that fairly well today. In his Mayor's Report to the last meeting, he said clearly: "Unlike last year, transport services will not be running late into the night." In a written reply, he then said: "I have not yet agreed any proposals for public transport times"; and in the minutes of the meeting, in reply to an oral question, he said: "I have made it clear that that area of the transport system over which I have some control . . . will run to beyond midnight. I will be making it clear to Keith Hill when I meet him later today . . . that I expect the Underground to run beyond midnight as well."

It seemed to me at the time - this is why I tabled the written question - that it was a state of total confusion, with three contrary answers from the pen and the mouth of the same man, the Mayor of London. One says there will be no late services, the second says they must be extended, and the third says, "I I haven't made up my mind yet." We as Londoners need to know why he got himself into this mess.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for New Year's Eve (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for New Year's Eve (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I did not get myself into a particular mess. We were working on the assumption that transport would be a reduced train service, as there usually is on New Year's Eve, but that it would run to beyond midnight, not through the night. It was only last month that we were told about the exclusion zone plans, which threw all this up in the air. Since then we have had some extremely frank exchanges with the train operating companies and London Underground. I pointed out that the bus operating companies will be running a service - the only area where I have any direct influence - and that it was up to central Government to tell London Underground, which they have chosen to retain in their control, what they should be doing, and use their influence on the train operating companies.