On 27th December 2006 I sent an e-mail to Transport for London Traffic Enforcement Services challenging the legality of their enforcement of a yellow box situated in Broad Lane, N15. The details are covered in a previous post, but in summary I was acting on behalf of a colleague who had received and paid the penalty charge a few days before.
I phoned TfL at regular intervals to check progress, and each time I was informed that the e-mail was in a queue awaiting someone’s attention. Each time I phoned I pointed out that there was a time limit for a response of 31st January 2007 in the e-mail, at which point I would complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Eventually, on 22nd Jan is was told that the e-mail was being taken out of the ‘pending’ queue and was being handed to the Representations Department. I phoned again on 30th Jan to discover that no one in that department had read the e-mail. On Friday 2nd Feb my colleague received an acknowledgement (dated 30th Jan) that the matter was being dealt with. They didn’t bother to send me a copy.
I guess I should carry out my threat, because what I wrote was:
“You have until 31/01/2007 to refute the allegation that the yellow box makings at Broad Lane, N15 between Cunningham Road and Stamford Road do not conform with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. ”
They haven’t refuted, so a complaint to the LGO will be on it’s way. I hate to think how large the backlog of correspondence must be at TfL.
On another front, I put a Freedom of Information request in to TfL for a report of a survey that they carried out in 2003 looking at the effects of box junction enforcement. I recently received a summary report only to find that the contents said that there was a (missing) second volume containing a detailed breakdown of each site.
I telephoned the contact on the accompanying letter who said he would look in to it. Nothing… A week later I phoned again. Apparently the document was 300 pages long, 3 inches thick, there was only one copy in existence and no one could work out how they could possibly send me a copy… Would someone please phone me back when they had figured it out? Nothing…
There is a follow-up survey originally due in July 2006, which I was told was delayed and would be ready by the end of January 2007. When will it be published? Nobody knows.
The managers at TfL may have some high ideals and objectives, but they certainly don’t seem to have the quality and quantity of staff to implement them. How long before they become like the Home Office – ‘unfit for purpose’?