Thursday, 9 February 2012

Tory AM: Most Londoners don't use public transport

Most Londoners don't use public transport, a Tory London Assembly Member has claimed in defence of the Mayor's fare rises.

Speaking at a City Hall debate on Boris Johnson's budget, Tony Arbour claimed that:

"It is a fact is it not that relatively few Londoners use London transport in any way. Most people don't use London transport with any sense of regularity." 

He went on to tell the Mayor that it was a "principal of conservatism" that "those [people] who receive a service are those who should pay for it." 

Boris Johnson replied that he would "need to get the figures" Arbour was referring to.

Transport for London's statistics show that the majority of trips are made by private transport although the majority of "journey stages" are made by public transport (42% to 36%).

However, there seems to be little evidence beyond Tony Arbour's own peculiar personal experience that "few Londoners use London transport in any way."

Arbour is an outspoken and right wing member of the Conservative party and a councillor in Richmond upon Thames.

He previously caused controversy when he described council housing as "housing for the riff raff."

21 comments:

Richard Brennan said...

Quite disturbing that a couple of members said "Hear hear" during his ridiculous speech as well.

Anonymous said...

Relatively few Londoners make use of Tony Arbour by the looks of it.

AdamB said...

"Quite disturbing that a couple of members said "Hear hear" during his ridiculous speech as well."

That was Brian Coleman at least. Not sure about others.

Anonymous said...

This **** has probably never been on a train on his life. Off with his head!

Richmonde said...

What an idiot! (A London transport user writes.) I see quite a lot of other people on buses and tubes. Why do conservatives say things that can be so easily disproved? He should be condemned to ride round and round the Circle Line for eternity (if it still went round and round).

Tim McLoughlin said...

Same old Tories, out of touch as usual. If Arbour bothered to check he'd know that South West Trains, which serves his borough, run an incredibly overcrowded rail service, though he has done nothing to improve that.

Jim said...

He went on to tell the Mayor that it was a "principal of conservatism" that "those [people] who receive a service are those who should pay for it."

Odd that Tony and every other conservative seems to instantly forget this dearly-held principle when it comes to road pricing.

Jonathan Green said...

I emailed Tony Arbour inviting him to join me and some members of the "few" at Richmond station at 8am on any weekday.

His response: "Thank you, I commute too and it does seem like all the world travels with me".

He seems happy to leave the obvious contradiction unexplained.

Anonymous said...

"I see quite a lot of other people on buses and tubes." - really "quite a lot"? - because I see so many people on them every morning that it's standing-pressed-face- to-each others-armpits room only.

AdamB said...

"Thank you, I commute too and it does seem like all the world travels with me".

Worth remembering that he does so at our expense so fare rises aren't really much of an issue for him:

http://static.london.gov.uk/assembly/members/expenses/docs1112/t-arbour.pdf

Markyjl said...

Hasn't he also missed the point that more Londoners would use public transport if it was not so bloody expensive.

Richard said...

You couldn't get any more Londoners on my train this morning it was that popular.

Sophie said...

Shows the world that these people inhabit. THEY don't use buses, tubes and trains and think that nobody else does. This is info from City of London website. Anyone got anything else?
'The City’s position as the world’s leading international financial and business centre is highly dependent upon good public transport accessibility. Over 320,000 people commute to the City each weekday and around 90% of them use public transport.'

Andrew Bowden said...

Simple. Lets shut down all public transport tomorrow. Then blame Tony Abrour for the chaos and mayhem.

I'm serious. If Tony says we don't need it, well it can go. Now. Right now. tube? Gone. Rail. Out of here. Buses? Who gives a flying...

And when the chaos starts, we can blame Tony.

You'd think with London almost in gridlock most days that Conservative politicians would realise we actually need good, affordable public transport. But clearly they don't. so they need to be made to learn. and that means inconveincing myself and the rest of the capital to prove how stupid Tony's view point is, well so be it.

Anonymous said...

In the video clip he actually says "London" transport, not "public" transport.

They are not the same thing - there are places where National Rail is also rather important, for example in much of south London where there is no Underground and not much tram.

There are many people who rarely use buses, and there are plenty of people who rarely go into central London. Not everyone is a suburb -> zone 1 commuter!

Once we exclude National Rail users, and non-Londoners using (what used to be called) London Transport (not just tourists, there are commuters coming into London by rail or car then taking the Underground), might there not be some truth in this claim?

AdamB said...

If you exclude all of the services Londoners do use, then you can say that most Londoners don't ever use any of those services.

However, if you stay in reality, then you can't.

ASLEF shrugged said...

The election will be a straight choice between Boris’s freeze or reduction of the Mayor’s share of council tax and Ken’s fares cut. If the voters choose Ken in May then I would imagine Mr. Arbour will conclude that all those people who don’t use London Transport were unable to vote as their polling station was too far away.

Josh Lyman said...

So few of his constituents use TfL that Tony Arbour last year felt the need to call for two stations in his constituency to be moved from Zone 6 to Zone 5 to save commuters money. “Not only are they in the wrong zone, but it costs my constituents who commute into inner London hundreds of pounds a year extra in travel fares." What people? I thought almost none of your constituents use TfL with any regularity.

http://www.london.gov.uk/media/press_releases_assembly_member/news-tony-arbour-move-surbiton-and-kingston-stations-zone-5-and

AdamB said...

Good spot!

EtonMess said...

Wow - this guy is doing his best to make sure the image of out-of-touch Tories disappears.

I'm sure if you sat him down, at some point he'd claim that the 'vast majority' of people go fox hunting and 'most' people went to private school.

Anonymous said...

This demonstrates that Tories think that everyone out of their weird dimension will believe any of their spin and lies.