Boris Cracks Down On Bad Bus Behaviour

By Lindsey Last edited 121 months ago
Boris Cracks Down On Bad Bus Behaviour

We can't help but be impressed by Boris Johnson's bid to deliver as many of his manifesto pledges as possible in his Mayoral settling in stage. First the tube booze ban, then scrapping The Londoner. Today he's announcing an extra 440 police staff on the buses - his headline promise on transport.

Safer Transport Teams were launched in 2005 and in March last year Ken Livingstone stumped up for an additional 400 PCSOs to help control unruly kids on major routes. Boris is set to double that uniformed presence as free Zipcard travel goes live for 11-18 year olds (carrot) and the Payback London scheme is introduced to deter them from being a pain in the arse (stick).

We had doubts that PCSOs would really deter kids from acting up on buses and we're not sure we've seen a difference ourselves but Ken's lot had some evidence they were working so we look forward to reaping the benefits of our new Mayor's efforts to make everyone's journey more pleasant. But not in The Londoner, of course.

UPDATE 12:30 "The 440 officers will be divided into teams of a sergeant, a constable and seven PCSOs. The teams will staff major bus stations and their immediate surrounds" and will focus on West Croydon, Wood Green and Canning Town.

Image courtesy of leicaview's Flickrstream under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Last Updated 16 May 2008


Of course, getting all these manifesto pledges out early could just be Bozza's way of distracting attention from the fact that his most high-profile promise - to bring back Routemaster - ain't gonna happen.


There was a British Transport Policeman on my tube this morning. All tooled up and utility jacket. He had to hold his helmet cos he was so tall but it certainly made me feel safe. And I behaved myself.


It strikes me that those pulling Boris' puppet strings have created a culture of fear on London transport.

During the election there was a large amount of discussion about safety on the Tube. I'm yet to find a single person who has felt unsafe on the Tube - it is a well-manned transport system, which is for the most part well covered with CCTV.

Sure, it's not a bad idea to increase surveilance on public transport, but I think London has far worse transport related problems than violent crime within the system. Unfortunately, our new Mayor seems far less interested in the long term development of London's transport infrastucture, instead opting for vote-winning tactical solutions.

Sadly, instilling fear seems to have been the most effective way of winning votes.


Behaviour on buses is a big deal - the tube (as mentioned above) is not so bad. School checking-out time is the worst, groups of kids messing around, smoking and fighting on the upper decks, and petty vandalism. It they can curb this, it will be a Good Thing.

However, the cynic in me says 'who's going to pay for all this'

Working Class Hero

Well done to Boris I think. So, most of his actions have so far been pointedly high-profile or well-publicised but not really tackling the big issues (behaviour on buses may be bad, but not compared to urban-based poverty and other issues); but since crime and disorder are also as equally well-publicised in unequal proportion to the actual issues that need addressing this seems to be well played by Boris.

Politics is not about instilling fear - this is what the media do - Boris is just matching tactics. If enough people were concerned about the real issues, then politicians would be too.


With all these measure, there's the element of thanking the "doughnut" that voted Boris in; the suburb and greater London dwellers who are preoccupied about crime and violence yet are among the least likely to be victims of it.

All these high profile initiatives are the Mayor's way of doffing his hat at them and rewarding them for voting him in.


This seems very fitting:



DG is ace - very funny. Thanks T0m.