Thursday, May 10, 2007

Transport for London

I seem to be making some progress in my discussions with Transport for London.

I don't

mind that they are seeking heavy new powers to enable them to catch up with persistent evaders -- I have always been one of those who hate it when people take advantage of me being law-abiding, and a zoom up bus lanes with impunity while I wait in the traffic. So even though I am all for fare enforcement, I have not got upset about bus lane cameras.

The latest weapons being sought are the right to enter people's cars to make sure that any tagging or tracking devices are intact, and the right to tow away and impound (until all fines are paid) cars with more than three tickets from anywhere in London. In the course of a couple of comfortable meetings, we seemed to have reached agreement that breaking and entering will be done only by a policeman, or in their presence, and that someone whose car is towed away can release it on bail for a couple of hundred pounds or so while they sort out the tickets, or prove that they did not own the vehicle at the time.

And I have at last met Nick Lester, someone who (as the ticketing supremo for the amalgamated London councils) is next to Beelzebub up in the motorist's pantheon. Perhaps even he is coming to see that it is important for councils to have enforcement policies which are acceptable to their citizens.