Communication mechanisms (Supplementary) [12]

Session date: 
October 16, 2002
Question By: 
Samantha Heath
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Ken Livingstone


The question I have leads on from the whole of the debate up till now. We are moving away from consultation in any form of local government to using participation. In terms of bus routes going down certain streets, whilst I completely take on board the issue that you raise about strategy and where buses need to go, the very question that Elizabeth Howlett raised about the G1 bus was brought to you two years ago, and we have a commitment that we're looking at smaller, neater buses that go down that road.

We have got clear evidence on the Noise Strategy of boroughs and people wanting to have more of a say in their local bus route. We do need to find a mechanism whereby that can happen.

I do understand that we have to get a transport system that works, and there's omelettes and eggs and breaking that has to happen, but, at this point, in the maturity of TfL, we do need to move to transport which is participation. We have evidence enough - and we have got the Noise Strategy which was sent to you yesterday - where we had boroughs, as well as local people, who were coming to you and asking for participation in a bus route that rumbled down their road, because if it moved to the next road - and that's in consultation with the people in the next road - things would be a lot better. That was the case in Merton and also in Greenwich, when they wrote to us.

We have boroughs upon boroughs, people who are friendly to you and those who are foul, who want to participate with you in where bus routes go. That is a simple thing but I do think we need to get a mechanism in place which says `participation" because local authorities are all moving to that and I think this august body should do the same.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Communication mechanisms (Supplementary) [12]

Answer for Communication mechanisms (Supplementary) [12]

Answered By: 
Ken Livingstone

Where you can have a positive approach from local groups saying, "We would like to re-route a bus from this route to that" and everyone is happy with that, we are all going to be over the moon. I fear that the majority of these problems aren't going to be quite so easy to resolve. It isn't possible to please everybody.

I also fear - I don't want to cast doubt on anyone's motives - that 18 months from the next election, we are now, sadly, in pre-election mode. A lot of this consultation is going to be subordinated to party campaigning interests. I will not allow short-term electoral considerations to weigh against London's overall transport needs.