Another cup final tomorrow…

16 05 2011

Tomorrow’s Transport Committee meeting at City Hall promises to be an absolute humdinger, with some of the biggest issues of Boris Johnson’s mayoralty coming to a head. I expect the City Hall regulars will spot a lot of new faces in the crowd especially as he will inevitably get a kicking.

The Mayor has been blighted by problems on the Tube, ones that could cost him the election next year.

Attending the meeting tomorrow will be the PPP arbiter Chris Bolt, who will be grilled on the demise of Tube Lines and its absorption into Transport for London.

Boris will see the destruction of the PPP as one of the best things he did as Mayor, but time will tell whether the cost of this to the taxpayer, around £400 million, will be good value.

The Jubilee Line upgrade has been a disaster, not just the delays but the problems the upgrades have caused when it should be running, and TfL will have to ensure the Northern and Piccadilly Lines are much more successful. I wonder what Mr Bolt will say on all this.

But the man who most will want to hear from will be Bob Crow, who will have a lot to say on a lot of things. Mr Crow, who I saw absolutely hammer MPs on a select committee last year, will not hold back on Boris and many of the AMs will be encouraging him.

There is absolutely no doubt that Boris’ record on strikes is poor, which is probably what you would expect with a Tory Mayor. He doesn’t like them and they don’t like him.

But what has really damaged him has been his decision to refuse to sit town with the unions to thrash out deals (West Wing truckers style – if you remember that episode). The recent slanging match with MPs on this issue has further damaged his reputation.

Tomorrow is going to be a must-watch meeting, and I don’t often say that about City Hall committees.

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