Friday, 15 February 2013

How d'you like THEM apples?

This morning's train from Hampton Court to Waterloo was on time.  Connecting tube to Edgware Road was a minute late, though, so it's £2.50 in penalties this morning.

Let's take a look at what else is out there.

Very nearly the 10th anniversary of the Congestion Charge (February 17th), and the AA has claimed that it has completely failed to cut congestion while it robbed motorists of some £2.6 billion.  Mostly, this claim rests upon the basis that, while there are now fewer vehicles in central London, average traffic speeds have failed to rise as a result, leaving us somewhere in the region of the horse and cart.

Well, for speed anyway.  The AA also claims (and other evidence would seem to support this) that air pollution has risen dramatically because emissions from brakes and tyres have shot up thanks to all the constant stopping and starting that must be done to make way for the various bus lanes, cycle and pedestrian safety measures, and roadworks that London's drivers content with on a daily basis.  At least the worst we had with the horse and cart was big piles of shit.
Horse apples
(Image credit: Eliya at flickr
And to round off, I invite you to visit IDG for news about allowing your mobile (cell) phone to become an Oyster card.  In short, TfL's not interested.  I've written before about how short-sighted I think this is, but I'd like you to take a read to see the attitude taken by TfL, and by its head of business development personally in particular.

Note the order of priorities for refusal:
  1. It sounds complicated, so I won't do it until everyone else does the hard work for me.  There's no way I want to be part of the solution and show TfL to be a forward-thinking organisation
  2. Other people want to be paid for helping to make this a reality.  This is unacceptable.  TfL should get all the money so we can hang onto our nice fat (because they're unjustifiably high, not absolutely high) salaries and perks
  3. I'm great because I was behind the Oyster card system, and I recently made it possible for people to pay for buses (and only buses) with contactless bank and credit cards.  I particularly love this quote with reference to the latter:
"This is quite a revolution. Whether you're a visitor from abroad or in the UK, whoever you are, get the card out of your pocket and tap it on the reader and travel. So TfL becomes like every other merchant..."
Yes, it's a revolution to become like every other merchant.  I hope stupidity isn't catching.
    4. I'm a little concerned about customer service issues if/when things go wrong

If I were being uncharitable - and I were - I would say this sounds like the prevarication of a man who once stumbled his way into something that turned out to be impressive (Oyster) and is now terrified that anything else he does might foul up his 'legacy'.

Whaddya reckon?

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