The Standard View: Should Transport for London’s gravy train hit the buffers?

The Standard View: Should Transport for London’s gravy train hit the buffers?

Statutory corporation or gravy train? Transport for London paid an astonishing 1,319 staff £100,000 or more in the last financial year, nearly twice the figure in the previous 12 months. The vast rise can be attributed to two years of bonuses being paid in arrears in a single year. Yet commuters — many of whom are certainly not raking in six figures — might hope that rather more cash would be reinvested into the capital’s transport network.

In particular, regular users of the heavily disrupted Central line could expect greater attention going into functioning motors or new carriages. Similarly, residents of west London have dreams of a fully operational Hammersmith Bridge.

TfL must pay competitive wages to attract world-class talent. Yet after numerous government bailouts, which this newspaper supported, and high fares, passengers are entitled to wonder whether quite enough is going towards faster, more reliable and safer journeys.

No more Grenfells

On June 14, 2017, a fire ripped through Grenfell Tower, killing 72 residents and horrifying a nation. Yet seven years on from that tragedy, survivors still speak of their “tortuous” wait for justice.

In an interview for today’s Evening Standard, Edward Daffarn, who lived on the tower’s 16th floor, says it has been impossible to move on without “a single click of handcuffs on a single perpetrator”. For Mr Daffarn and many others, the wait is far from over.

A total of 58 people and 19 companies have been identified as suspects who could face charges. But only last month the Metropolitan Police announced none would be brought until 2026 at the earliest.

The phrase “justice denied is justice delayed” is no mere platitude for the victims, survivors and their loved ones. It must be an urgent call to action, both on Grenfell and to ensure beyond doubt that dangerous cladding is removed from all buildings so that this can never happen again.

Euros excitement

A quarter of a century on from their last victory over Die Mannschaft, Scotland take on the Germans in the opening match of Euro 2024.

From an editorial perspective, this newspaper supports all the home nations at international tournaments, and has no scintilla of doubt that our readers feel the same way. Still, for many the excitement really begins on Sunday, when England faces Serbia.

In even better news, there is no match on July 4, meaning football fans can take an evening off and follow election night coverage at

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