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Why Transport for London's finances are far from healthy

BBC London News Feed - 1 hour 12 min ago
The prime minister and London's mayor have clashed over TfL's finances. What is the bigger picture?

'Transphobic bullies nearly cost me my life'

BBC London News Feed - 7 hours 56 min ago
Figures show reported transphobic hate crimes almost trebling in London in the past nine years.

Burnley 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane sets up Son Heung-min for only goal

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 23:15
Son Heung-min and Harry Kane link up yet again for the only goal as Tottenham claim a fortunate win over Burnley.

Tao Geoghegan Hart: Giro d'Italia winner 'leads new generation' - Sir Dave Brailsford

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 19:55
Giro d'Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart is "leading the way" for a new generation of young cyclists, his Ineos Grenadiers team boss Sir Dave Brailsford says.

Toddler in pushchair killed in crash in Ruislip

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 19:15
A man has been arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drugs, police said.

Driverless trains 'poor value' says leaked TfL study

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 17:38
Boris Johnson is calling for driverless trains to be a condition of future funding for TfL

Breaking: Nottingham to move into Tier 3 from Thursday night

City of London News Stream by Cityam - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 17:20

Nottingham and parts of the surrounding county are set to move into the top level of coronavirus measures this week, in a move that will see almost 800,000 people placed under Tier 3 restrictions, the government confirmed today.

People living in the city, along with residents of Rushcliffe, Gedling and Broxstowe will face the toughest level of restrictions from midnight on Thursday, as the government scrambles to curb a spike in infections across the county. 

Read more: London pandemic update: How many Covid-19 infections are there in your local borough?

Ministers will review the restrictions after 28 days, with hopes the fresh measures will stem the rate of infection in the Northern region.

Council bosses said the sweeping changes were needed to “achieve a sustained reduction in infection rates” and “help protect our vulnerable residents, the NHS and social care services.”

“Further measures specific to these areas of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire will be announced tomorrow,” they added.

Nottingham joins Warrington in the highest rung of local lockdown restrictions, after ministers announced the Northern town will enter Tier 3 from midnight tonight.

Infection rates in Warrington are currently among the highest in England, with 361 people per 100,000 infected among all age groups, according to the Department of Health.

Council leaders in Warrington accepted a £6m support package from the government to protect jobs and livelihoods and bolster testing capabilities for its 210,000 residents.

Health secretary Matt Hancock thanked residents for their “sacrifices”, adding: “I want to extend my thanks to each and every one of them for recognising the severity of the situation and sticking to the rules.”

More than 7.9m people in England are currently living under Tier 3 restrictions, after Liverpool, Greater Manchester and large swathes of Yorkshire entered the highest alert level last week.

The tough restrictions mean a ban on household mixing both indoors and outdoors, with pubs and bars forced to shutter unless they serve a “substantial meal”.

Read more: Astrazeneca shares up on Covid-19 vaccine hospital rollout reports

Betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres must also shut under Tier 3 restrictions.

A further 19.6m across England are living under Tier Two measures, meaning a ban on indoor household mixing.

The post Breaking: Nottingham to move into Tier 3 from Thursday night appeared first on CityAM.

Categories: City of London

Adam Matthews: Charlton Athletic re-sign Wales defender

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 16:26
Charlton Athletic re-sign defender Adam Matthews, who made 29 appearances for the League One club last season.

'No case to answer' for Met professional standards unit investigation

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 14:07
Initially 38 allegations related to 15 officers and one member of police staff, a police watchdog said.

Tram risk audit at time of Croydon crash never revealed to TfL safety panel

City of London News Stream by Cityam - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 10:14

The Croydon tram network was undergoing a safety audit at the time of the fatal Sandilands crash in 2016 – a fact not revealed to the chair of TfL’s safety panel at the time.

The former board member, tasked with overseeing investigations into the disaster, described the failure to inform him as “beyond shocking.”

Over the weekend it emerged that TfL had opened an investigation into operational risk at Trams Operations Limited (TOL) – a subsidiary of First Group – three weeks before the accident.

The incident killed seven passengers, the most deadly rail crash of the decade.

Read more: TfL bailout talks continue with Mayor pushing back at Whitehall demands

A draft copy of the audit, obtained by City A.M., shows that fieldwork for the probe was completed on 15 November, six days after the crash occurred. 

The initial findings were due to be released on 22 November, but never emerged.

At the time of the crash, Michael Liebreich was the chair of TfL’s Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel, and led the board’s oversight of the crash until July 2018.

He told City A.M.: “At no point was the fact that TfL were safety-auditing First Group’s tram operation at the time of the crash brought to our attention. The Audit and Assurance Committee of the board were never told about the part-completed audit.

“I find it beyond shocking to discover, nearly four years later, that TfL was undertaking a safety audit of the Croydon Tram at the exact time of the Sandilands crash.”

The draft audit first came to light when it was spotted by Tom Kearney, a campaigner for transport safety, in documents released in response to a Mayoral question by Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon.

Private Eye first reported the existence of the draft audit, which concluded that safety issues are “adequately controlled”, the second highest ranking. 

The draft report makes no mention of the Sandilands crash, even though it took place while the investigation was ongoing. 

Pidgeon told City A.M.: “It has taken consistent questioning and the use of freedom of information requests over the last four years by Assembly Members, campaigners and investigative journalists to simply ensure that we know what we do today.

“However questions still remain unanswered and I look forward to the Croydon tram inquest resuming as soon as possible to finally ensure that on such a vital issue as ensuring future passenger safety that no stone is left unturned.”

Audit ‘cancelled’ after incident

Later emails between TfL staff, seen by City A.M., confirmed that the audit had been “cancelled” in light of the incident.

The incident was the first time since 1959 that people had died in a tram accident in the UK. 62 people were also injured, 19 of whom seriously. 

An inquest into the deaths was due to begin last week but has been postponed due to the change in coronavirus precautions.

A report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), released in December 2017, found that driver error was the cause of the accident.

It found that the most likely scenario was that the driver had a “microsleep” episode approaching the bend.

A prior audit into TOL, conducted in 2014, found that arrangements for the management of operator fitness for duty, fatigue, drug and alcohol testing and monitoring, were “well controlled”.

The scope of the suppressed audit showed that investigators were looking into the issue of fatigue management for safety critical workers, in line with the Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 (ROGS).

A subsequent audit into fatigue management across TOL’s operations was carried out in the aftermath of the crash and made a number of suggestions for improvement.

Liebreich added: “This is just the latest in a series of failures by First Group and TfL to release information about fatigue on the Croydon Tram before and after the crash: documents not being provided to the police, documents being released with pages missing, documents RAIB doesn’t seem to have obtained, and so on. It is very troubling indeed.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “We were carrying out an audit of ‘Trams Management of Operational Risk’ but this work was not concluded because it was superseded by the urgent investigation into the Sandilands tragedy. The RAIB was informed of the uncompleted audit.”

Read more: London Tories call for reopening of Waterloo and City line

The post Tram risk audit at time of Croydon crash never revealed to TfL safety panel appeared first on CityAM.

Categories: City of London

Fantastic beasts in the real world and where to find them

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 09:04
London's Natural History Museum is set to stage one of the most ambitious exhibitions in its history.

Derek Chisora warns Oleksandr Usyk as pair prepare for Wembley Arena bout

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 06:56
Derek Chisora says Oleksandr Usyk will "get the fright of his life" when they meet in a highly anticipated bout on Saturday.

First Woodford court battle could come this year

City of London News Stream by Cityam - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 03:58

The first of what could be many legal claims relating to the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income fund is expected to be launched by the end of the year, reports emerged today.

London laywers Harcus Parker are co-ordinating a class action lawsuit and are believed to be ‘further down the track’ than rivals in preparing a case against Link, the firm’s ‘authorised corporate director.’

The Mail on Sunday first reported the news.

The legal firm have previously brought claims related to the Arch cru scandal against Link’s predecessor, Capita Financial Mangers.

Read more: Woodford investors will have to wait longer for their money

The fund was closed last year after a redemption request it couldn’t fulfil. Star fund manager Neil Woodford’s reputation was left in tatters and a number of investors are still waiting on receiving what is left of their cash.

Harcus Parker state on their website: “Link, as the Authorised Corporate Director of the Woodford Funds, has made millions in fees charged for adopting responsibility for safeguarding investors and ensuring that the Woodford Fund follows the rules.

“Our clients will allege that it failed adequately to supervise the Woodford Funds. This failure has proved to be catastrophic to those who invested their savings into the Woodford Fund and whose investments were locked into the Woodford Fund at suspension.”

It is understood by the Mail on Sunday that the key element of the claim will be that the firm did not ensure sufficient liquidity and that it had moved away from the objectives of the fund.

A spokesman for the firm told the Mail: It added: ‘The claim is going ahead and we expect to file soon on behalf of several thousand clients. Some 15,000 investors have expressed an interest in supporting the claim, of which 3,000 have gone on to become Harcus clients.”

Read more: Stricken Woodford fund battle expected to end in court

The post First Woodford court battle could come this year appeared first on CityAM.

Categories: City of London

Covid nurse: 'I thought I wasn't going to make it'

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 01:04
Devi Nurjandoa survived Covid but is now having to adjust to a new way of life.

Covid-19: TfL issues almost 500 fines to passengers not wearing masks

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 00:29
Transport for London issues nearly 500 fines of £100 to people not wearing face coverings.

'Generation Covid' hit hard by the pandemic, research reveals

BBC London News Feed - Mon, 10/26/2020 - 00:02
People aged 16-25 were more than twice as likely as older workers to have lost their job