I visited TfL's Palestra House offices on Blackfriars Road, SE1 yesterday with shadow Transport Secretary, Michael Dugher MP. The impressive operations centre joins police, bus, communications and operations staff in one building - which makes logistical sense but is apparently atypical in the UK.
We met with Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport. Leon ran through TfL's stats - showing 6.5 million bus journeys per day across London on just 8,000 buses, compared with 3.1 million on the tube and 200,000 by taxi.
We discussed plans to improve safety for cyclists in London which will be welcomed by local campaigners. But it was disappointing to hear that TfL have no plans to expand the cycle hire scheme - despite the contract being up for renewal next year. TfL are seeking to improve the scheme and boost numbers at existing docking stations rather than expand to new areas. This is bad news for the Rotherhithe campaigners and I will press the Labour London Mayoral candidates on this issue to seek coverage further into SE16.
The meeting was also a chance to discuss the plans to extend the Bakerloo Line - which I am keen to see as soon as possible, bringing longer-term transport infrastructure benefits to our area as well as construction jobs for the tube and associated housing.
I also raised Elephant and Castle air quality and what a new Transport Bill might require of future buses given their contribution to pollution. TfL have just 920 hybrid buses on air quality priority routes. The Elephant is in the 50 worst air quality areas in London and TfL and buses have a role to play in improving the situation.