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Friday 23 September 2011

Cripes TPA Chaps, Mum’s The Word!

With singular predictability, the cost of the Thames Cable Car, Bozza’a spiffing new wheeze to improve the waterfront between somewhere near North Greenwich tube and Royal Victoria DLR, has increased yet again, this time to a cool 60 million, which is going some for a project that was originally going to come in at £25 million and be paid for by someone else.

Back in April, the total cost of the cable car was given as £50.5 million, at the time when it was also revealed that nobody had come forward to offer to stump up the money for it – meaning that that cost would have to be paid by TfL, with the distant prospect of a sponsor coming along afterwards. Now it is conceded that there is still no sponsor, and that the money will come out of the rail budget.

While those who commute by rail and tube let that thought sink in, also worth considering is Bozza’s New Bus For London, aka the BozzaMaster. This, as I pointed out in May when the first prototype was unveiled, is another needless and costly project, with the first five buses costing around £8 million, or £1.6 million per vehicle, or six times more than one of those hated bendy buses.

So, with Bozza spraying money up two walls at once, who will step in and expose this waste for what it is? Who will speak up for the ordinary taxpayers of London, those hard-working people whose fares and council tax will go to pay for the Blond’s follies? Ah yes, what about those good folk at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA)? They claim to be speaking for hard pressed taxpayers.

And with Google being our friend, we can see very easily what kinds of interventions the TPA are making on cable car and BozzaMaster: none at all. That’s zero. Zilch. Nada. Richie says No Score. On the BozzaMaster there has been no word from the TPA, and on the cable car, an item of press coverage for June 26 comes up in a Google search but is not present when clicked.

But the TPA is happy to whinge about £1.3 million spent on a Park and Ride car park, a piece in which south-west England representative Tim Newark referred to a female councillor as “he”. They were equally happy to go out “campaigning” in Ashton under Lyne over £337,000 of trade union representatives’ facility time. But £60 million of blatant waste from Bozza does not get a mention.

Not that the TPA are Conservatives, of course. Perish the thought!

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