Your questions about the Central Line

central_line

At the end of September 2018 the #improvethecentralline campaign will be meeting with the Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee. The aim of the meeting is to discuss operational performance and make positive suggestions about how to improve the passenger experience.

If you have a question about the Central Line you would like answered, please comment below and The Wanstead Post will endeavour to get a response.

Are we drifting into having Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London again?

sadiq_khan

On Saturday 1 September 2018 a blimp of a semi-naked Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, will be flown above Parliament Square.

The event has been organised by a man called Yanny Bruere who describes himself as “pro free speech” and “anti political correctness”.  It has been paid for by a crowdfunding campaign which has raised more than £58,000.  The stunt is part of a wider campaign to stop Mr Khan from being re-elected as London Mayor and is a response to the decision to allow a blimp of Donald Trump during his presidential visit in July.

Showing his witty sense of humour, Mr Khan has said: “If people want to spend their Saturday looking at me in a yellow bikini they’re welcome to do so.  I don’t really think yellow’s my colour though”.

I think the stunt is rude and a huge waste of money.  Surely, in these austere times, £58,000 could be better spent?  It is also a win for Mr Khan as it has received publicity and allows him to show he is not above having the rise taken out of him.

But let’s use this as an opportunity to stimulate intelligent debate.  The Mayor’s responsibility is to make London a better place for everyone who visits, lives or works in the city.  His influence ranges across transport, the police and fire service, housing, business and the economy, regeneration and young people.  Are these areas genuinely better than when Mr Khan took office in 2016?  Has he made a real difference since coming to power?  Has he improved the daily lives of Londoners or has the situation got worse?  These are the areas on which Mr Khan must be judged and serious questions asked.

I notice the media are already identifying Mr Khan as the “front runner” for re-election as Mayor of London in 2020.  The key question, which requires an honest answer, is why?

M&S Wanstead opens

M&S Wanstead, London store launch
23 August 2018

The new Marks & Spencer Simply Food store has opened in Wanstead High Street.

Claire Benson, Store Manager, officially cut the ribbon to launch the outlet on Thursday 23 August 2018.

“The team has been working so hard to get ready for the opening and it has been brilliant to see the community turn out to support us today,” she said.

“The shelves are bursting with everything from lunches to go to every day essentials, as well as dinners perfect for sharing with family and friends. We are excited to be part of the Wanstead community and we can’t wait to get to know our local customers.”

Local resident, Sharon Hutton, said:

“M&S is a great addition to Wanstead. I’m such a big fan and to have one right here on my doorstep is very convenient. The Click & Collect service is also an added bonus as I can order clothes and pick them up in my new local store.”

M&S Simply Food is located at number 157 on the High Street and will open 07.00-22.00 Monday to Saturday and 09.00-19.00 on Sunday.

Comments sought on proposed new swimming pool

wanstead_leisure_centre

Local residents have been offered the opportunity to view and comment on proposals for a new swimming pool to be built at Wanstead Leisure Centre.

Following a drop-in event on 30th July at Wanstead Library, the plans have been made available on the London Borough of Redbridge website.

As well as a new community pool, the proposals include better leisure facilities, a dance studio, an improved teaching environment at Wanstead High School and improved disabled access for the Leisure Centre and School.

The proposed plans can be viewed here and feedback should be emailed to info.property@redbridge.gov.uk.

Opening date for new M&S revealed

M&S logo

The new Marks & Spencer Foodhall will be opening on Wanstead High Street at 10.00 on Thursday 23 August 2018.

The store will offer a range of products from the retailer including M&S Detroit Pizzas, veggie Not Dogs and M&S Best Ever Burgers as well as basics such as milk, eggs and cheese.

Customers will be able to access M&S Clothing & Home products via a Collect in Store service. If they order before 22.00 the night before on M&S.com they will be able to opt for next day pick up in the Wanstead store.

“My team and I are really excited about opening in Wanstead and we’ll be working hard to offer outstanding service for customers,” said Claire Benson, Store Manager.

“It’s exciting that the store will bring a bespoke Food offer to Wanstead for the first time and I can guarantee we’ll have all the everyday essentials customers need, as well as seasonal inspiration and innovation.”

“With Collect in Store, from dresses to duvets, busy customers will be able to easily collect and return – with next day pick up available seven days a week.”

“Cutting the ribbon and welcoming customers in for the first time will be a great moment for the team and I hope lots of local customers will pop down and join us.”

The store will be located at 157 High Street, Wanstead, E11 2RL and will be open from 07.00 to 22.00 Monday to Saturday and 09.00 to 19.00 on Sunday.

TfL: management structure and salaries

tfl_organisation_chart

As I was researching the Central Line on the internet I came across this document.  According to the URL it can be found somewhere on the Transport for London (TfL) website.

The chart appears to show the organisational structure of TfL in 2016/2017 and includes information about salaries.

There are a number of common sense questions which might be asked about this management structure:

  • What do the Head of Transformation and Business Transformation Director actually do?
  • Why are there two Senior Principals of Commercial Finance?
  • Why are there three Heads of HR plus a Head of HR Services?
  • What does the Senior Executive Advisor do?
  • Is it really necessary to employ so many people on salaries in excess of £100,000 when the majority of TfL’s budget comes from fares and grants from central and local government?
  • Are these salaries in any way performance related?
  • In what way are these people accountable to passengers?

In view of the deteriorating standard of service delivered across the TfL network, isn’t it time passengers were given the opportunity to ask these questions and time we were given some answers?

 

How to improve the Central Line

central_line_9_august_2018

I write this after another disastrous morning on the Central Line.

I arrived at Wanstead Station at approximately 06.00 earlier today to be told simply “there are no trains”.  When asked how I was expected to travel to work in Central London the sole member of staff told me to “get the bus to Stratford”.

This cessation of service – which became severe delays later in the morning – must have caused misery for thousands of commuters.  As I left the station I saw many people running for buses desperately telephoning their workplaces to patiently explain that, yet again, they would be late, if they could make it at all.

My concern is the toll this situation is taking on the mental health of commuters who have no other choice but to use this line of doom.  The delays and regular cessation of service create a daily nagging concern for anyone who uses the line: “what chaos is going to ensue today”?  The situation leads to stress, anxiety, increased workloads, loss of time with loved ones and lack of leisure time.  This is not to mention the loss of pay for freelancers and the deduction of salary for people, such as those who work in the construction industry, for those who arrive at work late.  And this goes on day after day after day.

The reason given for the delay this morning was “late finish of engineering work”.  Surely with better planning and management this could have been avoided?  I think it is time for financial penalties for those responsible for the management and operation of the line.  I don’t mean the hard working operations people who do the real work.  I mean the Managing Director of London Underground, who according to a Transport for London document earned between £275,000 and £279,999 in 2017, and the Head of Network Operations and Resilience, who earned between £120,000 and £124,000.  Perhaps if the continuing appalling service directly impacted them the situation might improve?

In the meantime, please become part of the campaign to #improvethecentralline.