The Guardian are reporting today that in the past two years the total amount of fines that have been imposed on the companies who operate the London Underground system is £26.5m.
That may sound like a lot but bear in mind that in the year end to March 2004 Tube Lines made a profit of £41m while Metronet made £50m. Plus Metronet SSL (who look after the Metropolitan, District, Circle, Hammersmith & City and East London lines) received £9m in bonuses last year.
Cynthia Hays of Capital Transport Campaign has come out in favour of harsher penalties, saying:
"There has been a lot of time lost and grief endured by passengers. This tells us that for all the complaints we hear from the mayor and Transport for London and all the talk about how they will go back to the government if they don't get a good deal, they simply don't have the power to impose appropriate fines."
The council threated legal action but the case had to be dropped as there was "an unrealistic chance of a criminal prosecution succeeding" because LU Ltd "may have received verbal permission from a council staff member to undertake the works". A claim the council denies.