With the suspension of major tube lines, millions of Londoners have had to resort to walking, cycling, and in some cases, taking river boats to get to work. The Union plan was simple: disrupt the lives of millions of people, cost TfL thousands of pounds in losses so that planned changes to ticket office opening hours – based on customer demand - would be halted.
However if you work as a MP you are exempt from the toils and strains of getting to work during a tube strike altogether. In an e-mail sent last night to MPs, Conservative MP, Michael Fabricant said, “colleagues may claim for a taxi fare to their London residence tonight up to an upper limit of £80.”
So while the rest of us were battling our way to work on overcrowded buses or walking or cycling under our own power, we were paying for MPs to gThe et a cab ride into work. Michael Fabricant’s last word to his colleagues was “Enjoy!” The taxpayers who pick up the bill might not be so smug.
While only 40% of the tube is operational now, commuters fought back and struggled into work. Perhaps if the MPs, who are public servants, were to use public transport they would discover and understand the frustrations and anxieties that commuters face when the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) and The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) unions decide to strike. They would be prompted to amend legislation so that during strikes, services –paid for by taxpayers – would not be decimated by the actions of a minority.
They would also realize the unreasonable demands that Union bosses are making. While RMT claim the strikes are in response to safety concerns and pay cuts, the cuts purposed by TFL are to ticket opening hours so they are more in line with the public demand and need. A spokesman for the TfL said today that the cuts would not result in compulsory redundancies and would have no impact on safety.
"The changes we're proposing to ticket office opening hours are in line with customer demand, so that our employees are deployed in those places and at those times where passengers most value their help and reassurance,"
However, it’s hard for MPs to understand this whilst they are riding in a taxi rather than battling their way through a public transport system running at less than half its capacity because of an unnecessary strike.