1 May 2012
The campaign to Sack Boris is now in full swing and only a few days remain until Londoners go to the polls to cast their vote.
We reported in the last journal how the TSSA has teamed up with the grassroots, independent Sack Boris campaign to inform voters about the disastrous effect that four years of Boris Johnson has had on transport in the capital.
Fares have risen above inflation for four years. A single bus ticket is up 50 per cent from 90p in 2008 to £1.35 today. A weekly zone 1–2 travelcard will cost you £260 a year more than it would have done when Boris Johnson was first elected. And an annual zone 1–4 travelcard went up by £96 in the last year alone!
Johnson has committed himself to further big fare hikes if he is re-elected on 3 May. If the Government’s own forecasts are to be believed, that translates into fare rises of 23 per cent by 2016, and at a time when the cost of living is straining household budgets to breaking point, it’s the opposite of what the mayor should be planning to do. At the same time as fares have soared, Boris Johnson has wasted millions of pounds on a new bus for London which has been beset by technical faults and rushed out before it’s ready.
The ‘New Bus for London’ – each costing several times that of a modern hybrid vehicle – had to compete for attention at its press launch with a TSSA / Sack Boris bus. The new bus promptly broke down whilst our 45 year-old model carried on fine.
On top of all that, the last four years have seen industrial relations between City Hall and the TSSA and our sister transport unions deteriorate to the benefit of no one. Boris Johnson has failed to meet the trade unions even once to discuss the vital work that Transport for London employees perform to keep the city moving. Instead, he’s presided over damaging cuts to staff numbers.
Our members in London have stepped up to ensure voters are equipped with these facts when they go to the ballot box. Joining forces with other Sack Boris activists, we have distributed 155,000 Oyster card holders to commuters and helped raise funds for a hard-hitting series of billboards and phone booth adverts which were rolled out across London during April.