London Hazards Centre Magazine No. 125 Autumn 2018

London Hazards Centre Magazine No. 125 Autumn 2018

London Hazards Centre Magazine No. 125 Autumn 2018

London hazards
ISSUE No 125 AUTUMN 2018 • LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE MAGAZINE • COMBATING ILL HEALTH AND DANGER IN THE WORKPLACE
Advice and Training for Londoners

HOSPITALITY WORKERS RALLY IN LONDON
FOR BETTER PAY AND UNION RIGHTS
Inside
Hospitality workers rally 2
Protection for whistleblowers 3
Safer junctions for London’s
pedestrians and cyclists 4
Undercover policing inquiry 5
Grenfell 6
Carillion: the real cost 7
What is the Mayor doing
about London’s toxic air? 8
2 ISSUE 125 LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE
AFFILIATE AND HELP KEEP US GOING
We are asking you to affiliate to the London Hazards Centre so that we can continue the work we were set up to do in 1985 – provide advice, information and training to make London a safer place in which to live and work.
Arguably the work of the London Hazards Centre is more important than ever as a result of cuts to the HSE budget and scrapping of key pieces of health and safety legislation.
The London Hazards Centre is also a campaigning organisation that takes a lead on issues like safety reps rights, as well as working closely with trade unions and other organisations, for example, to fight against blacklisting.
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Why not volunteer?
The London Hazards Centre, is looking for volunteers to help run and organise some of our activities. Perhaps you have skills and knowledge that could help organise events, produce promotional material, train others or assist in our campaigning work?
If you are interested in volunteering
at the London Hazards Centre why not call 0207 527 5107 or email
mail@lhc.org.uk
We’d like to hear from you.
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Thanks for help with magazine distribution
The London Hazards
Centre thanks the RMT,
GMB and London and
Eastern Region of Unite
for their assistance in
circulating the magazine.
Hospitality workers rally in London for better pay and union rights
Striking workers from McDonalds, TGI Fridays, and Wetherspoons held a national day of action on Thursday 4th October 2018 to demand better working conditions across the hospitality sector, a £10 minimum hourly wage and an end to zero-hour contracts.
They were joined by hospitality workers from around the world including Spain, the United States, and New Zealand. In a mass show of solidarity, workers from fast food companies like McDonalds, Wetherspoons and TGI Fridays rallied in London’s Leicester Square to show their support for union rights and an end to insecure low-paid jobs. Unite National Officer Rhys McCarthy said “these young workers are leading a growing movement against low-pay and insecure work in the hospitality sector and gig economy”.
The UK hospitality sector is big business. It Is the fourth largest industry in employment terms with 3.2 million jobs, and has an annual turnover of nearly £100 billion. It accounts for a third of all jobs in London. But the industry is charactarised by long hours, low-pay, fatigue, bullying, and low trade union membership.
This important demonstration was evidence of growing dissatisfaction with insecure employment and poverty wages. Workers at the rally spoke of what they are doing to build trade union membership in the industry to fightback against employers who treat them with a total lack of respect.
The strike and rally in London is part of an international movement. Fast food workers have been getting organised in countries across the world including the United States, Chile, Italy, Japan and the Philippines. In London, Uber Eats & Deliveroo couriers decided to join the action to show their support.
As Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union General Secretary Ronnie Draper said at the rally, “global companies bring global problems, and the only way against these is for trade unions across the globe to work with each other hand in hand.”
ISSUE 125 LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE 3
Recent high-profile cases of whistleblowers being sacked or ignored after revealing wrongdoing by organisations has fuelled the call for existing law to be toughened-up, and for new legislation that would encourage people to report wrongdoing and offer them greater protection. In this article Professor David Lewis makes some suggestions for reform.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), which operates as Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), has been regarded as a good piece of legislation. But, in the light of international developments, including an EU Draft Directive, it is questionable whether the UK now provides a suitable model.
The PIDA sets out the type of disclosure that would be treated as a ‘qualifying disclosure’ and the circumstances in which a qualifying disclosure will be treated as a ‘protected disclosure’, and the workers that the protection covers. Indeed, it was the ability of workers to use Part IVA ERA 1996 in relation to breaches of contracts of employ- ment that led to the insertion of a public interest test in 2013. But such a test creates too much uncertainty. For example, when can it be said that there is a public interest in knowing that there is bullying and harassment at a particular workplace? It would seem to depend on the nature or frequency of the bullying/harassment, whether it affects a few individuals or spreads through the whole organisation, or whether it occurs in a large public sector body or a small private sector firm?
Those responsible for receiving disclosures under PIDA 1998 have no duty to take action in relation to matters which may be disclosed. Nevertheless, those that know about potential wrongdoing can be held liable for culpable inaction under both the criminal and civil law. For example, in relation to health and safety matters or environmental issues.
Since PIDA 1998 no longer reflects international best practice, the following suggestions for reform are made. As an alternative to amending PIDA again, a stand- alone statute (a Whistleblowing Act) should be introduced to draw attention to the importance of whistleblowing in a democratic society. Indeed, a new piece of legislation would more conveniently accommodate the changes suggested below because rights and duties would no longer be confined to workers and employers.
The key objectives of the new statute would be to:
l encourage people to raise concerns about wrongdoing
l ensure that such concerns are investigated appropriately and that wrongdoing is rectified
l protect whistleblowers and others affected by whistleblowing
l require employers to maintain appropriate procedures which facilitate whistleblowing
l establish and fund a Whistleblowing Agency
The public interest test should be removed so that a disclosure would be protected if it was about a specified type of wrongdoing and made to a recognised person. If the public interest test is retained, employers should have the burden of showing that a disclosure was not in the public interest. In order to encourage people to speak up about wrongdoing, legislation should emphasise the need to maintain confidentiality so far as possible in all proceedings.
Legislation should require all employers with 20 or more workers to introduce and maintain both an appropriate whistleblowing policy and procedure. After full consultation with employers, trade unions and other interested parties, details about the content of procedures, how they should be communicated and appropriate training, might be contained in a statutory code of practice.
An independent Whistleblowing Agency should be established in order to highlight the importance of whistleblowing and monitor the impact of the legislation. Such a body could have responsibility for:
l publicising the legislation and any accompanying code of practice
l providing advisory and counselling services to workers, employers, and members of the public
l offering legal support to those alleging victimisation on the grounds of whistleblowing
l monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the legislation and regulators prescribed under it and report to Parliament
A new Whistleblowing Act should also endorse the principle that trade union officials are appropriate recipients of concerns by designating them as prescribed persons. The law should specify that it covers all individuals irrespective of the nature of their working relationship and whether they are paid or not, for example, volunteers and students. The new statute should specifically outlaw discrimination against whistleblowers at the point of hiring.
In addition to protecting those who suffer retaliation as a result of making a protected disclosure, Parliament should also protect those who:
l are threatened with reprisals
l wrongly perceived to be whistleblowers
l suffer detriment because
they are ‘about to make’ a disclosure, or as a result of their association with a whistleblower
More positively, employers should have a statutory duty to make a risk assessment when a person raises a concern and have in place a process for checking that reprisals do not occur. The head of an organisation should be personally responsible for ensuring that reasonable steps are taken to prevent reprisals and taking appropriate action if they do occur.
In legal proceedings relating to a detriment (including dismissal) suffered by a whistleblower, and subject to him or her providing reasonable grounds to believe that the detriment was in retaliation for having made the disclosure, it should be for the employer to establish that this was not the case. Finally, it should be a criminal offence for any person to cause or threaten to cause any detriment to a person for reporting a concern in accordance with the law. Professor David Lewis,
Whistleblowing Research Unit,
SHIELD
Protection for whistleblowers
Eleven cyclists have been killed in the capital this year. Protests over the carnage on London’s streets has brought parts of the city to a standstill.
Now halfway through his Mayoral term, Sadiq Khan is faced with an increasingly stark set of choices if he is to achieve his “Vision Zero” aim, in his Transport Strategy, to reduce serious and fatal road injuries in London to zero by 2041.
Khan has made Vision Zero a central element of his new Mayor’s Transport Strategy. However, this is against a backdrop of 131 fatalities last year on London’s streets (up 13% year-on-year) and 3,750 serious injuries (up 1%). Among these, there is a particularly worrying increase of serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians, and very little reduction among those cycling. In other words, London’s most vulnerable road users aren’t getting safer. And 80% of the victims of the most severe collisions are pedestrians, cyclists or motorbike riders – that’s from Khan’s “Vision Zero action plan”. Also from this document is the fact that “almost three quarters of fatal and serious injury collisions in London occur at junctions”.
If Khan and TfL want to achieve the laudable aims
of the Mayor to eliminate the worst injuries and all deaths from our roads in just over 20 years, he has to focus on junctions. That’s why the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) got him to pledge
not just to triple the mileage of main road cycle tracks before his election, but also fix the worst junctions.
However, two years into his Mayoralty, his junction programme is failing, putting lives at risk and his ambitions too. LCC recently ran a petition on inaction on junctions, and following its hand-in of nearly 3,000 signatures, London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon asked the Mayor to explain progress on the two junction safety programmes Transport for London (TfL) is currently running.
The Better Junctions list of 33 was picked by previous Mayor Boris Johnson. Of this list, 13 are complete, two are in construction, but 18 have yet to see a spade lifted to fix them. Khan’s response to Pidgeon details these junctions. Of the 15 either complete or in construction, LCC assesses that only four are likely, from a cycling perspective, to help achieve Khan’s “Vision Zero” goal. All of the others retain major risks and danger points.
Of the rest, many seem beset by unexplained delays. The Woolwich Road/A1020 junction, for instance, is not set to be complete until late 2023 (TfL says “timescales are indicative” so it could go even further back). That means this junction, and many others on the list, won’t even begin until after the current Mayoral term ends. The Woolwich Road/A1020 has killed two cyclists in ten years – one this year. It is nicknamed the “crossing of death” according to local media.
Many of the junctions are also listed as having design work “ongoing” or “underway”, including for schemes years past public consultation. The list also includes three junctions where it appears the infamously anti-cycling and walking Westminster Council have been able to kick the scheme into the long grass, at risk of more injuries and fatalities. These are Lambeth Bridge North (where local councillors objected to the redesign of one of the most dangerous roundabouts in the UK over a palm tree being removed), and Marble Arch, which TfL says has been delayed by Westminster’s sudden switch to oppose the planned Oxford Street pedestrianisation scheme. TfL says it will “wait the outcome of [Westminster’s] alternative scheme before determining how improvements at Marble Arch could be incorporated.”
Khan’s successor to the Better Junctions programme is his list of 77 Safer Junctions. Here things are marginally better. Good news: the list is being ticked off rapidly. Bad news: again, not to the standard needed to achieve “Vision Zero”.
LCC is now pressing Khan and TfL to pick up the pace and quality of schemes, not just to save lives, but also to enable more people to walk and cycle. lcc.org.uk/pages/tfls-better-junctions-scheme
Simon Munk,
London Cycling Campaign.
4 ISSUE 125 LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE
Safer and better junctions for London’s pedestrians and cyclists
ISSUE 125 LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE 5
The ‘spycops’ undercover policing inquiry has little credibility. An out-of-touch retired judge is heading the inquiry that is now not expected to conclude until 2023 at the earliest, having allowed police lawyers to delay the inquiry for five years. Four judicial reviews have now been lodged in the High Court to challenge decisions over process.
In March 2015 the then
Home Secretary Theresa May announced her intention to set up a public inquiry into undercover policing, describing herself as “profoundly shocked” by the evidence of police misconduct. An initial investigation had revealed numerous areas of concern. The most eye-catching issue was the fact that the police had spied on the family of Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager murdered in South London, when the family started to criticise the conduct of the police investigation in the murder. However, the inquiry was set up with a wide remit, covering all aspects of undercover policing including the extent to which the police spied on political and social justice groups. There was clear evidence of police spying on Labour MPs, environmental campaigners and, of particular relevance to Hazards, trade unionists in the construction industry. The Blacklist Support Group, and individual members of the group therefore have the status of Core Participants and are eligible for the public funding of their legal costs.
The Scottish Affairs committee found that the principle reason people were added to the construction industry’s blacklist was raising health and safety concerns. However, there is information on the blacklist files of many construction workers that has plainly come from the police. The most obvious material is information about workers’ attendance at political events which were policed but hardly likely to have been observed by HR staff from construction companies.
Peter Francis, the undercover policeman turned whistleblower, has confirmed that some of the information on the blacklist matches information he provided to his handlers.
When you add to the mix the number of former policemen who move into jobs in corporate security with construction companies it becomes clear that construction unions have a real interest in the progress of the inquiry and in unravelling the secret links between the police and employers in this industry.
All of which, makes it all the more concerning that the inquiry is running years behind schedule (it was supposed to take 3 years but in that time has not even started hearing evidence) and is being handled so badly by the current chair, Sir John Mitting, that the non-police participants are thinking long and hard about whether they want anything more to do with it.
The fundamental problem is the obstructive approach of the Police, and the indulgence of this obstruction by Sir John Mitting. For anyone other than the police to be able to give meaningful evidence it is essential that the public know which organisations were spied on and what the cover names of the undercover police officers were. With that information witnesses will be able to tell Mitting what the undercover officers did. If witnesses don’t know who the spies were they will not be able to give any meaningful evidence. But still Mitting refuses, in most cases, to order the disclosure of cover names, and refuses to disclose the evidence he has received from the police as to why the cover names should not be disclosed.
Frustration with his approach amongst the victims of police spying, and their legal representatives, has reached such a level that at a hearing in March this year Philippa Kaufmann QC, who represents at least 200 of those spied on, told Mitting that the manner in which he was dealing with this issue was indefensible and that there was no point in her participating any further. She and those she represented then walked out of the hearing stating they had lost confidence in the chairman.
People found themselves shut out of employment – most notably in the construction industry - because they raised safety issues. Evidence of state involvement in this practice must be investigated. But Mitting, in conjunction with the police themselves, may ensure this never happens. `
Tom Wood
Undercover
policing inquiry
Philippa Kaufmann QC, who represented many victims of police
spying, interviewed on walking out of the High Court in London
ISSUE 125 LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE 6
When London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton was asked if she would change anything about the way that the fire brigade responded to the Grenfell Tower disaster she said “I wouldn’t change anything we did on the night”.
Her testimony at the public inquiry on 27 September 2018 was widely regarded as insensitive. Survivors of the fire and the bereaved were angered by her comments. Cotton went on to rightly praise the actions of firefighters who “performed in a fantastic way given the incredible circumstances they faced”. The Commissioner was also questioned on whether she thought “structural or cultural failure” might lay behind insufficient attention being paid to the science of fire safety at the LFB. She said it did not. Commissioner Cotton went on to reject the idea that there were ‘institutional assumptions’ made about how the LFB should react to the fire.
Justice4Grenfell have published some questions they would like to ask the government about some ‘institutional assumptions’ that they may hold:
l Is there an institutional assumption that those who live in social housing are there as a privilege and not a right?
l Is there an institutional assumption that private, building materials companies and contractors prioritise the health and safety of people before their profits?
l Is there an institutional assumption that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is fit for purpose
and should not be placed into special measures?
l Is there an institutional assumption that the Inquiry will continue to be held at the current venue at Holborn Bars, even though bereaved families and survivors have petitioned for it to be changed?
l Is there an institutional assumption that no outright ban on cladding is necessary?
l Is there an institutional assumption that private contractors, who public authorities increasingly ‘out-source’ to, do not need to have any obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the Freedom of Information Act?
There have been numerous criticisms of the Grenfell Public Inquiry chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick. One of the most
serious is that Solicitors representing the survivors and families of the bereaved are not allowed to ask questions of core participants when giving their testimony. Not providing funding for the translation of witness statements for survivors and witnesses is another failing. And why isn’t the Inquiry being held at a venue nearer to the Grenfell neighbourhood? One thing that hasn’t changed is the contempt shown to the survivors and bereaved by the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO). The KCTMO managed all council properties in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) before the Grenfell disaster. They recently told the resident members of the board that they will have to close as a company unless they agree to radical changes to its current constitution and management structure. The proposals would allow the current Board complete and permanent control, including how it responds to any criminal investigations, the Public Enquiry, and any civil action.
At the KCTMO’s AGM last year residents used their voting power to stop an attempt by the RBKC to seize control of the organisation – a move that was supported by the KCTMO. Currently, a majority of seats on the KCTMO Board are reserved for resident members. Decisions of the board require a majority vote from the resident members.
Under new proposals from the KCTMO such action would not be possible as the voting power of resident Board members will be removed. Alternative proposals from a coalition of resident members were rejected by the KCTMO. If the KCTMO proposals are successful, external scrutiny would be removed and power granted to a Board whose decisions are under criminal investigation. The fight to resist the outrageous proposals of the KCTMO is stepping-up a gear.
The start of this article dealt with how the LFB Commissioner responded to questions at the Public Inquiry. The focus needs to shift back to where the real blame for the Grenfell disaster must surely rest; inadequate building regulations, corporate greed and a myriad of contractors with their snouts in the trough, and a contemptuous KCTMO that never listened to tenants concerns.
Paul Street
Thanks to J4G for information in this article - https://justice4grenfell.org/
Join the Grenfell Silent Walk held in the evening of every 14th of the month!
GRENFELL
You will learn about:
l The main UK health and safety laws
l Who is responsible for health and safety at work
l Who enforces health
and safety
l Basic risk assessment
l Sources of information and support
The course is ideal for:
l People new to health and safety or those wanting to refresh their knowledge.
l In particular, migrant workers or recent arrivals in the UK will gain important knowledge about their rights.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING FROM THE LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE
Do you want to know your rights when it comes to health and safety? Working in a safe environment is a basic
human right. Learn about your rights and how to enforce them.If you are interested please call 0208 527 5107 or
email: mail@lhc.org.uk The London Hazards Centre is
funded to provide health and safety training.
Why not
volunteer?
The London Hazards Centre, is looking for volunteers to help run and organise some of our activities. Perhaps you have skills and knowledge that could help organise events, produce promotional material, train others or assist in our campaigning work?
If you are interested in volunteering at the London Hazards Centre why not
call 0207 527 5107 or
email mail@lhc.org.uk
We’d like to hear from you.
ISSUE 125 LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE 7
The Carillion collapse in January 2018 thrust the issue of greedy private companies ripping off the public sector onto the front page of every newspaper.
The public were quite rightly outraged at the huge bonuses being paid to directors at the same time that the company was unable to provide services to the vulnerable and victimised workers who raised concerns.
Carillion had around 450 government contracts when it folded with debts of £1.5 billion. Nearly half of its annual revenue came from construction services.
Carillion also had a huge slice of the £2.8 billion Private Finance Initiative (PFI) hospital and school contracts in London.
Carillion was one of the major contractors who orchestrated ‘The Consulting Association ‘(TCA) blacklist, which meant workers who complained about health and safety were denied work on major construction projects. This resulted in unemployment, mortgage repayment difficulties, family tensions, and in some cases suicide. A report published by the GMB in 2012 showed that Carillion had checked at least 14,724 names with the Consulting Association.
I was elected a UCCAT safety rep on several key sites run by one or other of the Carillion group of companies – and I was removed from each site within days of raising health and safety issues.
Back in 2009, after evidence of my dismissals were discovered on the TCA blacklist, I took an Employment Tribunal against Carillion. On the first day in court, Carillion’s lawyer handed the judge a document in which the company admitted blacklisting me because I was a union member who had raised concerns about safety on one of their building sites. Carillion even provided the name of the senior manager based at their Wolverhampton HQ who supplied the information to the unlawful blacklist, this included a copy of my official safety representative’s credentials. Despite this admission, I still lost the case.
The reason for the decision was like so many others in the building industry, I was not employed directly by Carillion but via an employment agency and as such was not protected by UK employment law. The written judgement in my case states:
“We have reached our conclusions with considerable reluctance. It seems
to us that he has suffered
a genuine injustice and we greatly regret that the law provides him with no remedy”.
We appealed and ended up in the European Court of Human Rights (we still lost).
To add insult to injury, Carillion even came after me for £3,500 worth of legal costs.
In 2016 at the High Court, Carillon eventually admitted that they had blacklisted workers who complained about safety on their building sites and paid out millions in an out of court settlement. I was one of those who received a payment. But compensation is not the same as justice. Technicalities in the legal system meant that Carillion and the rest of the blacklisting companies were quite literally able to buy their way out of a trial. Not one of the company directors who orchestrated the blacklisting conspiracy has had to account for their actions. This is why blacklisted workers are calling for a public inquiry into the national scandal.
Why do multinational companies like Carillion act like this? The simple answer is because they can. For decades, politicians from all the mainstream political parties have become virtual cheerleaders for private enterprise. ‘Unshackle business from burdensome red tape’, ‘kill the health and safety culture’ became the mantras. It might be good for corporate profits but it’s the increasing number of workers now forced to work on zero hour contracts or via employment agencies without any legal rights who are paying the price.
The ‘private is best’ ideology has also seen Carillion and the other blacklisting companies receiving numerous lucrative public contracts. Privatisation resulted in the seedy practices of the construction industry infesting the public sector. Carillion is just a symptom of a bigger problem. It’s not about one poorly managed company, the whole neo-liberal privatisation agenda is rotten to the core. When you invite blacklisting human rights abusers to run the NHS and school meals, don’t be surprised when vampire capitalism attempts to suck the taxpayer dry. In any civilized society senior executives would be facing criminal charges.
It’s time to take back control of our public services from the leeches who have taken over. It’s time to insert some sanity back into the public discourse and think about what is best for society rather than the corporations. PFI and the myriad of other privatisation mechanisms need to come to an end. We could make a start by following the recommendation of the select committee investigation into blacklisting that called for all of the construction companies involved in the blacklisting conspiracy to be banned from any publicly funded contracts. Ethical procurement should be more than just a slogan.
Dave Smith
CARILLION: THE REAL COST
ISSUE 125 LONDON HAZARDS CENTRE 8
The capital’s polluted air is causing the premature death of nearly 10,000 Londoners a year. It is a public health emergency. In this article, Rosalind Readhead examines what the Mayor is doing about it.
Road pricing is one tool (within London Mayoral powers) to address the consequences of motor traffic. Cars are a major polluter of the air and water in London, whether from particulates generated by brake, tyre and road wear, or emissions from the exhaust pipe.
Recent research shows air pollution spikes are directly linked to hospitalisation. There have so far been nine high air pollution alerts in London under Sadiq Khan’s Mayoralty.
Guddi Singh, a paediatric doctor in London, writes ‘The cocktail of pollution and pollen in London kills people. Politicians should spend a night on the wards to see the harm. I sat by (children’s) beds as they writhed, struggling for air, their small bodies wracked with coughs. It is a kind of torture, to fear for your next breath. You can see the sheer terror in the children’s eyes.’
The Toxicity Charge, introduced by the Mayor in 2017 has cut the number of polluting vehicles entering Central London by about 1000 per day (Mon-Fri 7am-6pm) but this is simply tinkering in the context of an escalating public health crisis.
At its most basic the Congestion Charge helps make space for desirable road transport. In the Mayor’s Transport strategy 2018 the target of 80% of personal journeys by walking, cycling and public transport requires prioritisation of space for pedestrianisation, wider footways, segregated cycling lanes and priority bus lanes.
Ken Livingstone understood the strategic importance of the Congestion Charge for the buses. When it was introduced in 2003 it was very successful in improving reliability. Failure by the Mayor to update the Congestion Charge, has not only delayed bus reliability, but has made it more difficult for councils to introduce safer walking and cycling schemes. It is important to prepare the ground so there is less motor traffic when walking and cycling schemes go in. This makes the transition easier.
Quick wins would see the current congestion charge hours extended from a third of the week (7am -6pm Mon-Fri) to 24/7. Additionally, current exemptions could be removed. TFL are currently consulting on removing exemptions for ‘non zero emission capable’ private hire vehicles like Uber. However, Taxis are not included in the consultation. Meanwhile the price of the Congestion Charge could simply be raised to meet a quantified, most desirable and efficient number of motor vehicles on central London streets.
The newly approved Silvertown Tunnel has been sold as a source of road pricing for Transport for London (TfL). It will be tolled. But the project expects (at best) to maintain provision for existing levels of heavy motor traffic, and existing levels of pollution. At worst, it will enable much more traffic & pollution.
This begs the question what is the Mayor of London’s strategy on road pricing? Does he really want to save lives by cutting congestion and air pollution? Does he really want to make walking, cycling and public transport the most accessible options for all Londoners?
The Mayor is banking on an Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), to be introduced in central London from 8 April 2019, to improve air quality. It will replace the current T-Charge, and will operate 24 hours a day, 7-days a week, every day of the year within the same area as the current Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ). The extension of the hours to 24/7 is good news. However, there are still many exemptions for Taxis, Residents, Private Hire Vehicles and more. It is worth noting that the Silvertown Tunnel falls outside this area.
And then the promise that from 25 October 2021 - should Sadiq Khan be re-elected - the area will be expanded to the inner London area bounded by the North and South Circular roads.
Will this be enough to stop the Mayor’s exposure to litigation from families whose loved ones have lost their lives and their health from illegal air pollution in London? We will have to wait and see?
Rosalind Readhead,
Environmental Campaigner.
CLEANER
AIR
FOR
LONDON
MAYOR OF LONDON
When?
What
is the
Mayor
doing about London’s toxic air?
A JOBS AND
RIGHTS-FIRST BREXIT
Crashing out of Europe without a plan risks many of our hard-won rights at work, and the thousands of good jobs that rely on trade. If we end up with a “no deal” Brexit, workers will be the ones who pick up the tab.
TUC objectives:
u Keeping all the hard-won workers’ rights that come from the EU, and making sure that UåK workers get the same rights as workers in the EU into the future
u Stopping a job-destroying “no deal” Brexit, and winning a final Brexit deal that offers tariff-free, barrier-free, frictionless trade with Europe
u Guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens working in the UK, and those of Brits working abroad
www.tuc.org.uk/lets-build-economy-works-working-people

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