The Evening Standard reports that Transport for London’s staff have made expense claims for over a million miles of journeys in their own cars since April 2008.
This includes some incredibly short trips – my favourite of those listed being Moorgate to Liverpool Street (about 300 metres).
Having seen the Freedom of Information responses (see below), I can reveal that other trips include Bank to Moorgate, Pimlico to Victoria and Baker Street to Marylebone. I’ve fallen over and travelled further than some of these.
Except if you’re TfL staff
The Standard article notes Transport for London’s defence that the journeys were “made at night when the Tube had stopped”.
Yet how they’re able to make this claim, I don’t know. When I asked TfL for the details of when specific trips were made, under Freedom of Information legislation, they responded that they “do not record” this information.
Insulated from London
Of the 1069 journeys of five miles or under that were claimed for in 2010/11,
not a single one was cycled. (Correction 9.14am: Only 8 were cycled. Thanks to the beady-eyed Twitter user who pointed this out.)
Is it any surprise that cyclists are dying on TfL’s dangerously designed streets? Can we realistically expect that an organisation so entrenched in car culture will actually try to sort this out?
These expense claims raise a number of questions:
- Why aren’t employees being encouraged to avoid using cars for short trips, as outlined in the Travel at Work Policy?
- Why aren’t TfL recording the times of trips made? And why is their Press Office then allowed to claim that journeys are made at night?
- Who is making expense claims for car trips of less than 1 mile in Central London? And who is signing them off?
Something is deeply wrong at the core of TfL. The organisation’s Chair, Boris Johnson, needs to get a grip on it.