Making Journeys Safer

Articles, LondonUnlockedEditor

200805080808.jpgBoris Johnson has announced that his election pledge to ban alcohol on the transport network will be enacted next month.

The ban will be enforced by the extra 440 police community officers and 50 transport officers which he has also pledged.

Given that the East London Advertiser only today carries the story of a drunk commuter attacking TfL staff, this policy is welcome and should go a long way to ensuring that the Mayor provides the necessary conditions for Londoners to feel secure on the transport network.

The Mayor's remit for bringing business to London is to "promote economic development and wealth creation". Providing a secure environment for workers certainly helps in fulfilling that aim.

However, The Times carries that news that the unions are not happy with the policy, which they see as "impossible to enforce":

The measure also drew criticism from transport unions, which said that it had not been thought through and that it could endanger staff who approached drunken passengers. Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, said: “Violence against our members is already a major problem, particularly from people who have been drinking.

“Perhaps the mayor will come out with his underpants on over his trousers like Superman one Saturday to show us how it should be done, and maybe tell a crowd of Liverpool supporters that they can’t drink on the train.”

There is more than a measure of truth in Mr Crow's statement, though the new officers being employed on the network should allay some of his concerns.

With Boris Johnson pledging to bring in a no-strike rule for the Tube, this may be the first shot in the long war between his administration and the unions in attempting to deliver on that policy.