On the day when most people are going back to work, it's good to welcome in the New Year on the Tube with news that strike action is being threatened on the Northern Line (will anyone notice? I hear some of you ask). It appears that a driver who has worked for LU for 22 years passed through a red signal or there was a SPAD (Signal Passed at Danger - for those who know such things). Union Aslef district organiser Steve Grant said that the SPAD was the result of technical problems and that the driver shouldn't have been sacked. Consequently Aslef are going to ballot members over possible industrial action.
Describing the sacking as "draconian", Steve Grant said: "This man has 20 years of experience and there is no technical evidence to support the charge."
There's nothing on Aslef's site about this but if the strike goes ahead 660,000 people will need to find another way to travel.
In other news Sheriff Ken is doing his annual defence of the annual rise in fares which took place this morning. "Get an Oystercard" is his standard mantra or if you want the spin (with a record number of times Oyster can mentioned in one paragraph):
"2007 is the year to get onto Oyster if you haven't already, and today is the best day to start. The headlines about big cash fare increases today show that the savings are now to be found on Oyster with many Oyster fares now half the cost of the cash alternative whilst the Oyster daily price cap for adults remains fifty pence below the One Day Travelcard price. A single journey on the Tube in zone one is frozen at £1.50 when using Oyster and peak bus fares with Oyster frozen at £1."
Getting through TfL's site to find a way of travelling without an Oystercard or travelcard, you'll eventually learn that if you don't have one you'll be paying four quid for a single fare in via Zone 1. (2007 fares are here). I wonder how many people who regularly travel into London don't have an Oyster or travelcard though? How long is Ken going to carry on widening the gap between the fares here?