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TfL spends thousands on cabs while we struggle on public transport
London’s transport boss spent over £1,500 on taxis last year while his passengers struggled into work on tubes, trains and buses.
Peter Hendy, commissioner for Transport for London (TFL) spent the equivalent of £29 a week of public money on taxis.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance condemned the findings revealed this week through a Freedom of Information request by the Borough News.
Spokesman Corin Taylor said: “It speaks volumes about how good a job TFL are doing that their own executives are choosing to shun tubes and buses and make the taxpayer fork out for their taxis.”
Mr Hendy spent more on taxis than all nine of his fellow chief officers put together, with three spending nothing at all.
As a whole TfL staff claimed around £14,500 in expenses for taxis, and this figure does not include costs paid in advance.
Most London transport organisations claimed less than £3,000, with London River Services claiming just £16.08.
Commuter Sarah Dawson, an NHS manager from Balham who uses the Northern Line every day, said: “It’s outrageous. I work long hours and I have no choice but to use the tubes and buses. I don’t particularly feel safe at night.
“A taxi would be nice but as a public sector worker I feel it’s wrong to use taxis and then claim it back on expenses.”
Local transport campaigner Mark Clarke said: “It shows they are out of touch. If they can opt out of the tubes they don’t see the pain people go through. No wonder things don’t get better.”
A TfL spokesman said: "Company policy does allow for the use of taxis, for example London Underground staff may travel by taxi on very early or late finishing shifts because no other means of transport is available.
“Peter Hendy travels to and from work by public transport and on the vast majority of occasions whilst travelling the capital on business.
“He is overseeing the delivery of a ten-year £39billion budget to deliver the upgrade of the tube, preparations for the 2012 Games and Crossrail and there are occasions when his full schedule and late hours necessitate the use of taxis.”