There was much frothing outrage yesterday at the revelation TfL are paying £2.5m so staff can have – as the BBC headline puts it – a "tour of Olympic park".
Actually, the tour is a small part of a larger training exercise to prepare 30,000 employees for the Olympics. Customer-facing transport workers will doubtless face a barrage of questions from confused tourists and Games-goers, as well as from residents wanting to know what stations and areas to avoid at what times. All manner of transport changes need to be communicated so staff know what to expect.
As TfL boss Peter Hendy points out, hiring a venue for a couple of hundred people, three times a day, for six months doesn't come cheap. So they turned to the reason for the training, and will be holding sessions in Stratford International ticket hall. Since they're pretty much on site, why not let them also have a quick tour?
TfL are paying £1m towards costs (fair enough: they're also going to be delighting staff with future plans and motivational videos, the sort of tedious bullshit familiar to anyone who's ever endured a corporate away day) with the rest picked up by the Olympic Delivery Authority (again fair enough: it's their Games TfL's staff are having to deal with, and is just one part of the mammoth training exercise LOCOG is undertaking).