Hopefully those at City Hall were inspired by Team GB’s exploits, because their taxi expenses have just been slashed to bits.
Mayorwatch highlights a document tightening up benefits (PDF) for the Mayor, London Assembly Members and Greater London Authority key staff, and it really stamps down on taxi use. Anyone hopping in a cab is going to need a very good excuse why they didn’t get a tube, bus or – perhaps a more sensible option for Boris Johnson’s infamous 2008 £99.50 return cab fare (PDF) from City Hall to Elephant and Castle – walk or cycle. Furthermore, even any justified taxi use will only get reimbursed to the price of the equivalent fare on Oyster.
Perhaps the only surprise is that it’s taken so long. Former Assembly Member Brian Coleman was notorious for his taxi bill, spending as much as the other 24 AMs together in 2008. Ken Livingstone was also no stranger to the back of a cab in the early years of his Mayoralty. Under the new scheme, if Boris Johnson had to make another emergency dash back from holiday and got a taxi from Heathrow to City Hall, it would cost taxpayers a maximum of £4.80 rather than £65 (PDF).
With costs being cut across City Hall this is a sensible move. Let’s just hope it doesn’t work as an excuse to hike fares even higher…