Watchdog calls on London Mayor candidates to ‘put transport users first’ in election manifestos

Watchdog calls on London Mayor candidates to ‘put transport users first’ in election manifestos

The official watchdog for transport users in and around the capital has challenged London Mayor candidates to “put transport users first” when they compile their manifestos by drawing on its priorities for improving the experience of passengers and pedestrians. It calls for:

  • Increasing the speeds of bus journey by addressing road congestion and giving buses greater priority on roads.
  • Ensuring London’s streets and pavements are level and clear of obstacles such as “A-boards“.
  • Securing “delays repay compensation” as a standard entitlement for every occasion when an Underground, Overground or National Rail service is delayed by 15 minutes or more.
  • Ensuring better public transport access to London’s airports.
  • Introducing better “instant communication” with passengers through social media channels when journeys are disrupted.
  • Extending contactless fare payments to all rail stations including those serving London airports.

London TravelWatch, a body sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, is keen to discuss these proposals and the six broader priority areas they are an expression of with candidates.

Last month, it urged Transport for London to take “urgent action” over a decline in average bus speeds across the capital, which it believes accounts for a fall in ridership and a resulting significant loss of revenue from the capital’s most-used public transport service.

The call to clear and level pavements is in line with the wishes of charity Living Streets, which promotes the interests of pedestrians and has already asked mayoral candidates to  to look at improving the experience of getting around the capital on foot.

Writing for On London, former TfL surface transport chief Leon Daniels has advanced the case for a “self-healing city”, a concept that includes people being quickly informed about alternative routes if their journeys are interrupted.

London TravelWatch director Emma Gibson said: “The Mayor has a huge influence on our transport system, and transport is likely to be a big theme in the election and beyond. Our six transport priorities are based on what transport users are telling us they want, and many of them could be brought in cheaply and implemented quickly.”

Photograph by Omar Jan.

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