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.