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.

The MD of London Underground responds

central_line

The campaign has received a response from Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground, to a letter sent on 9 July 2018.  His letter is dated 1 August and was received on 2 August.

The letter recognises that the Central Line is “not operating as London expects” and suggests that recent signal failures have “masked some of the real improvements”.  It claims that teams are working hard to put things right and refers to efforts to deflect sunlight from carriages and encourage customers to leave trains if they feel unwell.

These initiatives are worthy but they are simply not good enough.  More ideas and creative solutions are needed to tackle the appalling service currently being delivered on the Central Line.  It is no longer acceptable to have an “oh well, there is nothing more we can do” attitude.  The Central Line is one of the most important on the tube network.  It carries hundreds of thousands of passengers to key areas of the capital.  The current situation, with severe delays almost daily and sometimes complete cessation of service, cannot continue because it is negatively affecting so many people, businesses and the reputation of our city.  The Mayor of London, Transport for London, the Department for Transport and all those responsible for the management and running of the line must step up their efforts to deliver tangible improvements for customers who pay so much to travel on a line which many now describe as “hell”.

There has still been no direct response to the campaign letter sent to the Mayor of London.  Preparations continue for the meeting with the Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee in September.

Please keep supporting the campaign to #improvethecentralline in whatever way you can.

Update on #improvethecentralline

central_line

Thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign so far.  Unfortunately, there have been severe delays again this week.

A meeting has been arranged with Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee and representatives from Transport for London.  This will take place on Friday 28 September 2018.

The campaign has received a response to the letter sent to Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground.  Regrettably, the letter is from someone called Belinda, a customer services representative, rather than Mr Wild himself.  It contains the usual well-worn excuses and lack of aspiration so typical of those responsible for Central Line management.  This response and attitude is no longer good enough.  It is time to expect better.  Why is Mr Wild not responding to complaints?  Why is he hiding from the passengers who pay his salary?  He is – after all – accountable.

The campaign has received no response to the letter sent to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.  He has however found the time to give an interview to Time Out in which he claims he could beat the former mayor, Boris Johnson, in a boxing match saying: “I could ‘ave ‘im, all day long”.  If only he could take the same pugnacious approach to fixing the transport problems in London and improving the lives of the people he is supposed to represent.

Many responses to the campaign have referred to the issue of funding and the lack of investment in Central Line infrastructure.  While funding is undoubtedly an issue it is not the only solution.  A new attitude and culture is required from all those responsible for the management and running of the line.  The situation can be improved through ambition, aspiration, innovation, creative solutions and hard work as well as more money.

The campaign continues.  Please be part of it.

What can I do?

Tweet:

Tag @CentralLine and use the hashtag #improvethecentralline

Write to:

The Mayor of London

City Hall

The Queen’s Walk

London SE1 2AA

 

Mark Wild

Managing Director, London Underground

C/O TfL Customer Service

4th Floor, 14 Pier Walk

London SE10 0ES

 

Email:

Caroline Pidgeon, Chair, London Assembly Transport Committee

caroline.pidgeon@london.gov.uk

Campaign to #improvethecentralline

central_line

Last week The Wanstead Post published an open letter about the continuing appalling service on the Central Line.

The letter has prompted the launch of a campaign to #improvethecentralline.

If you would like to contribute to efforts to improve the service please see below for some ideas.

The issue
The Central Line is one of the most important on the tube network. It is the main arterial route through Central London and delivers passengers to areas such as the City of London and the West End. For many people it is their only way of travelling into Central London.

The problem
The service on the line is appalling and appears to be deteriorating. This dire situation has been going on for day after day after day.

The knock-on effect
This awful situation leads to considerable stress, anxiety, lateness, increased workloads, loss of pay for freelancers, lack of time with children and loved ones, reduced leisure time and many other negative effects on those who have no other choice but to use the Central Line.

A solution
Transport for London, the Mayor of London, Central Line management and staff as well as passengers must come together to address the problems and find innovative solutions.

What can I do?

Tweet:

Tag @CentralLine and use the hashtag #improvethecentralline

Write to:
The Mayor of London
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA

Mark Wild
Managing Director, London Underground
C/O TfL Customer Service
4th Floor, 14 Pier Walk
London SE10 0ES

Email:
Caroline Pidgeon, Chair, London Assembly Transport Committee
caroline.pidgeon@london.gov.uk

Letters about the campaign have already been sent to The Mayor of London and the Managing Director of London Underground. The more letters they receive the more likely they are to do something.

The campaign is in email contact with the Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee who may set up a passenger meeting with Central Line management. There will be further news on this when it is confirmed.