Constructive Engagement (Supplementary) [3]

Session date: 
December 6, 2006
Question By: 
Sally Hamwee
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)


The closure of the Waterloo and City line after Metronet had failed to clear the dust I am told: `Still no helpful facts six hours after the incident'. The PPP Arbiter's report, that was published at 7.30 am, I understand that Members and Members' staff were excluded from TfL's press conference at 11.30am and were not able to talk to TfL until 1pm the following day.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Constructive Engagement (Supplementary) [3]

Answer for Constructive Engagement (Supplementary) [3]

Answered By: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

I am certainly very surprised about the second one because we had to wait ourselves to see what the details of the Arbiter's report were, because my understanding was that it was still being worked on by the Arbiter the previous evening, so it is not as though we could have briefed in advance. My experience of press conferences is it is virtually impossible to exclude anybody from them! It must have either been an act of omission or something catastrophically deliberate.

In respect of the operational things, I think that one of the things you do sometimes need to understand is that we need to work through what the causes of some of these things are, and nobody has definitive information until we have worked them out.

I do not think what you are suggesting is so much of a burden that we cannot find a way of dealing with it, because I would like, on the whole, for people to understand what the consequences are of things going wrong on the network. I can tell you, and the Chair will be very interested to know, that the Northern line delays this morning were caused by the failure of the north bound starting signal at Charing Cross Station at 8.20am, which was remedied at 8.52am, which was another piece of clapped out signalling on the Northern line but which will make mincemeat of the timetable for the next four hours or so. I am quite happy for somebody to tell people who are asking that, if not in real time, reasonably quickly.

I think the one thing you might do in response to that is, equally, if you would like to hear what we are saying, on occasions there are things emanating from the Assembly in reports which do not come to us for factual accuracy before they are published. I think that would be a very constructive thing on the Assembly's part with which we would be pleased to engage.