Tube not adding up

This is one of those random statements that makes you wonder whether the people in charge are actually capable of doing the job they’re talking about. A £1 pocket calculator wouldn’t have hurt, surely?

First sentence first. Upgrading will deliver nearly 30% more capacity across the network. Fair enough. An increased number and size and frequency of trains mean people can cram themselves into Tube trains 30% more often than before, or 30% more people can ride them. All well and good.

But the second sentence? If they don’t upgrade, capacity would reduce by 30%? We’re running just to stand still?

They’re saying that without the upgrades, the whole system will fall so far into disrepair that 30% fewer journeys are possible each year. Platforms will crumble, trains will break down, and tracks will be unpassable from Mill Hill to Morden. (No change there.)

Is this “Gordon Brown accounting”? Making it look like an increase by artfully choosing the most favourable starting point?! The trumpeted increase will in fact be zero because all it’s doing is taking us back to capacity today?

I mean, that’s what this message is actually saying. We’re losing 30% anyway and all the upgrade programme is doing is clawing it back.

Now I know how African aid agencies feel, when politicians make speeches awarding them billions, and they subsequently discover it’s money previously pledged.

Dodgy accounting, fractured maths, Jubilee Line still closed all weekend, every weekend. It’s all gone Down the Tubes.

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