I think we can see that what we've got here today is a real problem, not with the fact that we're getting some new transport services but the actual consultation that precedes them. Clearly, there is something that's going wrong which is why we've got so many petitions, and so many petitioners here today. I hope that you do recognise that there is a message coming out loud and clear this morning, that TfL has got real problems with the way it relates to local residents when it is consulting on new schemes.
There is a group of residents from Emlyn Road here today and it is quite a long way for them to get here, from the westernmost part of Hammersmith. They have come today, speaking on behalf of many more hundreds who signed their petition, because they are, frankly, desperate at the way their voices are simply being ignored - their views and voices - by Transport for London.
There has been a consistent misrepresentation of their views and the amount of opposition to the route. I remind that I raised it with you earlier in the year when I told you that when I was first approached about the 272 bus route problems, and tried to speak to Transport for London about it, I got back a message to say that the Chairman of the Stamford Brook Residents' Association was actually misrepresenting the views of the majority of the Residents' Association, which was patently untrue. That's how we started on this issue with a real misrepresentation of what was going on there.
Their petition is simply about saying, "What are you going to do about getting this consultation properly on track?" because nobody is happy with that bus route.
My specific question to you, on the basis of this complaint is this: why was it that during the official consultation, TfL broke its own guidelines; the guidelines that suggest, very strongly, that local residents, where a new bus route has been put in, should be consulted as part of the official consultation? In this instance, the first they knew about it was 2½ weeks after the official consultation had taken place, by which time, many minds, obviously, had been made up, and therefore they were being faced more or less with a fait accompli rather than a genuine consultation. Why were those guidelines wilfully ignored?