Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Question Time

Three minutes for the train into Waterloo this morning, so I had to take a connecting tube three minutes later than would otherwise have been necessary.  This was delayed a minute further.  No explanations were offered.  Total delay of four minutes for £10.

I have a question for readers: how responsible is TfL for conditions on the road?  So far, with the exception of bus trips, I've been taking the attitude that poorly planned road systems and insufficient measures to cope with rush hour traffic aren't really TfL's fault, but am I right to do so?  Reading up around the subject, TfL certainly seems to be held to account by public bodies for many aspects of the roads, like in my earlier cycling story.  Contractors for TfL also seem regularly to be responsible for clearing up road-related delays/accidents.

This morning, for example, I missed my train into work and had to wait half an hour for the next.  This was caused by bad traffic in the Kingston one-way system, so that a journey that should have taken seven minutes took more than twice as long.

Image credit: Travel and Leisure
 In the interests of fairness, for example, not calling TfL to account for such delays has, on three occasions since the beginning of September, resulted in my not charging them for around one and a half hours' worth of delay - and that's just on the morning commute, not taking into account the many other journeys I make in my car in the course of a full week.

So the question is: should I continue the current policy of letting TfL off the hook for all traffic delays, or should I charge them for this too?  Or should I charge them only in very specific circumstances, i.e. not for general heavy traffic, but for roadworks and failed traffic signals where the repairs have not been put in place at a more convenient time (whether through poor planning of those repair works or because insufficient maintenance work has been done, leading to 'emergency' works needing to be done at the busiest times)?

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