Editor’s comment: What TfL thinks of us, apparently
PUBLISHED: 15:15 05 September 2018
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Which of the following do you think TfL should have approached the Gazette about?
(a) The 2016 announcement of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone, including Finsbury and Clerkenwell, where people who drive the most polluting vehicles will be charged a daily fee from 2019;
(b) The last-minute announcement of the “ULEV streets” scheme in the south of the borough this week, where those vehicles will be banned altogether from parts of Shoreditch and Old Street;
(c) A small-scale launch event for Quietway 2, which has already been open for a year;
(d) The urgent rescheduling of major works to redesign Old Street roundabout following a public call for that exact thing in the pages of this newspaper.
The answer, apparently, is (c) only. TfL didn’t deem any of the others worth our attention, but did think we’d probably want to rock up to a photo op in the rain while we were on deadline. (We didn’t, but Islington’s transport boss, the mayor of Hackney, and TfL’s cycling commissioner managed it, and accordingly got soaked.)
The hastening of the Old Street work – which came in the immediate wake of a lorry crash on July 25 that cost Sarah Doone her leg – is excellent news. We led calls for it to happen in our August 2 edition, and I’m delighted by it.
I’m less delighted that I had to read about it in the pages of another newspaper barely a fortnight after explicitly asking TfL to respond to those calls, and after publishing an answer that totally failed to mention any plan to accelerate the work.
Some would conclude TfL doesn’t have its finger on the pulse when it comes to local media. But that clearly isn’t true: its communications office gave us plenty of notice about the Victoria line celebrations at the weekend, and that’s only been open 50 years.