Sadiq Khan and TFL 'hate the motorist' says Jacob Rees-Mogg
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Jacob Rees-Mogg said Transport for London “seems to have a campaign of hating the motorist” as he accused the transport authority and London mayor of “failures”. Conservative MP Felicity Buchan said she has been campaigning for two Underground stations in her Kensington constituency, South Kensington and Ladbroke Grove, which “desperately need step-free access” and called for a debate on how Transport for London and the mayor Sadiq Khan “are letting down Londoners because they are mismanaging TfL’s finances”.
The Commons Leader said: “I think we could have a debate on the terrible failures of the mayor of London and of Transport for London.
“Transport for London seems to have a campaign of hating the motorist and doing everything it can to make driving in London difficult, with ridiculous 20 mile-an-hour speed limits on straight and wide roads, with road closures, and every possible inconvenience to the motorist.
“And then they can’t run the Underground system properly.
“So, I agree with my honourable friend, though she may wish to apply to the backbench business committee in the first instance.”
It comes as travellers in London have been warned of “severe disruption” to the Night Tube this weekend as drivers stage a second round of strikes in a row over rosters.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out for eight hours from Friday and Saturday evenings on the Central and Victoria lines, where the Night Tube is due to run.
The weekend overnight service, introduced in 2016, was suspended last year because of the pandemic and resumed last weekend, although it was disrupted by industrial action.
The union claims Transport for London has “ripped up” an agreement on drivers being allowed to choose whether to work on night services.
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Further strikes are planned in the run-up to Christmas.
TfL said drivers will only work four nights a year, adding that new rosters have been agreed by other unions.
Nick Dent, London Underground’s director of customer operations, said: “We’re urging Night Tube customers to check before they travel this weekend ahead of more disruptive RMT strike action on the Central and Victoria lines.
“While I’m pleased we managed to run a safe and regular service on the Night Tube last weekend despite strike action, there is still a chance of severe disruption this weekend and up to Christmas.
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“We’ve been in talks with the RMT for months to try and avoid this needless strike action.
“I apologise to customers for the disruption they may face and urge the RMT to continue talks with us, rather than threatening London with further strikes at a crucial time for its recovery.”
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “We are angry and disappointed that the Tube management have refused to move forward based on genuine and realistic proposals that could have enabled us to recommend the suspension of the planned action. As a result the strike tomorrow goes ahead.
“The issue at the heart of the dispute is that the dedicated Night Tube driver grade, which was popular with women and those with caring responsibilities, and which the union fought to get written in to the original Night Tube agreement, has been ripped up with complete disregard for the staff themselves.
“We have made every effort in Acas and direct talks to resolve this dispute but it is increasingly clear that LU bosses are driven solely by the bottom line and appear to have no interest whatsoever in the wellbeing of their staff or the service to passengers.”
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