‘How’s Sir Peter Hendy doing?’ – If I’m honest literally no-one has asked me this question since the former TfL Commissioner left last summer but I have, in my quieter moments, occasionally fretted about his ability to get around town and remain nourished now that he’s subject to Network Rail’s particularly stingy expenses policy.
My concerns were heightened when a glance of his Network Rail claims for July to September revealed that Sir Peter only enjoyed a single instance of taxpayer-funded entertainment which, costing just £16, can’t have been especially filling.
Certainly it won’t have been as lavish as some of the meals he enjoyed at the Groucho courtesy of hard-pressed London farepayers.
And whereas his final quarter in charge of Transport for London saw him rack up a £600 taxi bill, his first period as chair of Network Rail only contributed £55 to the black cab trade’s coffers.
Is Sir Peter’s diary less busy in his new role or is his time just better managed to avoid the need for endless cab rides between meetings? Either way, with his much reduced claims and the restraint shown by his successor at TfL, taxpayers and farepayers are clearly already benefitting from his change of jobs.
And there’s more good news – I saw Sir Peter last week at the Evening Standard hustings and he looked happy, well-fed and, in his black leather jacket, somewhat reminiscent of the T-Birds from Grease.
I think, by the way, that he may have seen me too because he appeared to rapidly change his mind about where to sit and headed to a different part of the venue to the one I, and by honest co-incidence, a TfL board member were sitting in.
But if you still have concerns of your own about our former Commissioner, he’ll be appearing before the London Assembly on Tuesday (9th February) to discuss plans for London’s rail infrastructure, giving you the chance to see for yourself that he is, in fact, fine.
If you can’t make the meeting in person, the much-improved, smartphone, Mac and tablet friendly City Hall webcast can be found here,