Saturday, 26 April 2008

Transport Uncovered


There’s a natty little website that I've just come across – like a lot of other people, presumably – when I was looking for the Transport for London website to top up my Oyster card. (Oyster cards, for the benefit of those of you who never come to London, are a cash-free method of paying your bus and tube fares. In the process, they track your every journey across the capital, fuelling the paranoia of everyone who thinks that Ken Livingstone sits up late at night in City Hall watching them on CCTV.)

The website, at tfl.co.uk as opposed to TfL’s at tfl.gov.uk, is called Transport Uncovered and it’s the work of a bunch of ‘techies, designers and online advertising specialists’ with names like Maz and Nic and Becky, who work in a ‘London based online advertising company’. So it looks good and it allows you to vote as many times as you like in polls with questions like ‘How much do you think a flat-rate congestion charge should be?’ (Current leaders are ‘Free’ and ‘Driving in London is such an awful experience, I should be paid’.) There’s also – and of course you knew this was coming – a prominent link to the ‘Back Boris’ website.

Now Maz and Nic and Becky and co are clearly clued up on election spending rules as well as web design and domain names. So there’s a disclaimer to the effect that: ‘Whilst we believe that Boris would make better choices for transport in London than Red Ken, we are in no formal way associated with any of the political parties. This site isn’t a piece of election marketing – it’s by people that feel strongly about the city they either live or work in.’

I’m prepared to bet the webmaster/mistress a night out at the theatre, with free travel thrown in, that s/he becomes oddly uninterested in the website after 1 May.

7 comments:

Probablyblonde said...

You are such a cynic! Misguided for sure if they think Boris will do a better job...with anything. But I bet you a cheesecake that you're wrong. And I have to agree about the bendy buses...

Steve Platt said...

I'm not fond of bendies myself, but I don't see how you could move as many people as quickly and cheaply in any other way.

Probablyblonde said...

Trams

Dan said...

A whois search on nic.uk shows it to be registered to "TravelFind (UK) Ltd", a company which does not exist according to Companies House.

jane pritchard said...

Trams aint cheap.

Probablyblonde said...

...but more cost-effective in the long run. Or trolley buses, which are cheaper than trams and while a few hundred thousand more than bendy buses to build take higher passenger numbers and are better for the environment.

david franks said...

Seems that they've become uninterested in their website BEFORE May 1st. They don't use their forums or answer emails. It's just an election stunt. I bet they are just Bojo in disguise. I hope he declares it as election spending.