A Freedom of Information inquiry about the decision to halve the RV1 bus route show that behind closed doors, officials thought that it was ‘one of the biggest’ changes of recent times, which was implemented ‘very quickly’. Some implied that announcing the big cut should have been delayed until after the election, as ‘there will be a stink’.
Waiting times for the RV1 service that runs from Covent Garden, through the South Bank to the Tower of London, were doubled in February, with the local Liberal Democrats leading the campaign against the drastic cuts. Victor Chamberlain, who was subsequently elected as the councillor for Borough & Bankside ward, launched a petition to save the RV1, gaining over a thousand signatures.
While Southwark Labour later claimed in their election manifesto that they would ‘campaign for the RV1’, the freedom of information inquiry show that they made no formal representations to the Labour mayor at all. No Labour figure has even signed the petition against the cuts.
Cllr Victor Chamberlain said: ‘My Freedom of Information inquiry shows that even officials thought that this was a major change, one that was introduced remarkably suddenly, and didn’t get the proper consultation that it deserved. It also shows that while Labour boasted that they would campaign for the RV1 in their manifesto, in practice they’ve done nothing. They couldn’t even be bothered to write to TfL or their own Labour mayor to make the case for local residents and bus users. The sheer cynicism is breathtaking and they should be ashamed of themselves.’
The Freedom of Information request can be found here:
12th June, 2018