Friday, 30 May 2008

Boris Johnson may reverse on doubling of bus fares

Boris Johnson engineered yet another climb down today, hinting that he may now continue with half-price bus and tram fares for London's poor.

Boris announced last Sunday that people on income support would no longer benefit from half-price fares, after the current deal comes to an end in August. But in a victory for London's poor and after a week's worth of criticism, there are signs that a u-turn may finally be coming around.

The way in which the news was originally announced, and the way in which it so blatantly targeted the least well off was a worrying sign of things to come. But on the central and most important issue, it now seems that Boris has seen sense.

News of the possible u-turn came in response to dogged questioning by the Guardian's Dave Hill. Asked about how doubling fares for people on income support would fulfill the Mayor's commitment to narrow the gap between rich and poor, Team Boris responded that they would now ask Transport for London to "consider whether there may be alternative ways of providing this support." 

And although this is by no means a clear cut promise, it does look like people on income support may not have the cost of their fares doubled after all. And if this really does become another one of Boris Johnson's policy reversals, then I for once will not be complaining.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Fantastic news. Let's just make sure he keeps his word (this time anyway).

stevep said...

So that's three failed promises in one day. Bloody hell Boris, you are working hard from that yacht.

On second thoughts do you think he even knows about this? Maybe since he is away, his team thought it was the perfect opportunity to clean up some of his mess...

Toneytony said...

Three times a lady.

Bob said...

'consider' doesn't sound very encouraging to me. I would be worried that this is just an attempt to fob off the criticism they have been getting.

Wait to see what he actually does.

angelneptunestar said...

I knew that he would do something to sort this out, he is not mean like that, and I never doubted it for a second.

Doug said...

He's not doing something to sort this out. He's said he'd consider looking into sorting it out, and nothing stronger. Hardly a glittering concession.

angelneptunestar said...

Are you a Capricorn Doug? 9JOKE)

asquith said...

He really has got no idea, whatsoever, what he's doing.