Peter Hendy, the commissioner of London Transport, has claimed £16,125 in expenses in the last three years. This includes 398 taxi trips or about one every three days. Hendy earned £331,175 last year - twice that of London Mayor Boris Johnson, 12.5 times the average wage, and nearly 315 times that of an adult minimum wage earner.
Over the same period, TfL’s top seven execs accrued expenses of £22,000 between them but London Underground boss Mike Brown made do with expenses of around £800.
Compare these expenses figures to the earnings of a station cleaner, and you can see why Tubeworker is appalled.
Front line Tube staff who are starting work before the first train, or after the last can request a free taxi to their nearest tube station. We wonder how many of Hendy’s taxi rides - often trips of less than a tenner - were made when there was no alternative transport.
It hardly seems an advertisement for the ‘world class’ quality of London's Tube or buses that the commissioner - once coined ‘Bendy Hendy’ for his support of bendy buses - would now spend such a great deal on taxi fares instead.
In a Guardian interview with Dave Hill in October 2010; Hendy said "The other thing you take a hit on is the cost of running the place. We will be doing less in some areas.” Clearly that didn't apply to taxi trips between 2010 and September 2012 - the period that he spent £16,125 on expenses.
The next time London Underground tries to cut workers' free taxi travel on extreme shifts, we look forward to the unions pulling out Hendy’s expenses records.
We see too that some of Hendy’s expenses were on magazine subscriptions. If he’s interested in what grass roots unionists and tube workers think, he may wish to subscribe to Tubeworker - it’s £10 per annum.
[Details taken from an FOI request and article on www.mayorwatch.co.uk]