With surprisingly short notice, London Underground have canceled their busker scheme deal with Automatic Management. Set up in the days of the Livingstone administration, this was the attempt to impose order on the chaos of tubeway buskers. It took much of the romance out of the underground - buskers were given official pitches, the scheme was sponsored by some sort of lager - but also offered a truce in the long battles between London Transport and musicians.
Now, though, the deal has gone and London Underground is taking control of the scheme, but in a way that sounds like it's a prelude to running it down:
We can see the reasoning behind the 'if there's any dispute, shut it down' line - there's no funding for the running of these pitches and staff don't have the time or the training to oversee them. That's why, presumably, the running of the scheme was outsourced in the first place.
The Underground denies the long-term plan is to drop the scheme entirely:
... but that pay off about "keeping the scheme viable" suggests a door being opened to an announcement that, hey, we tried to do all we can, but...
Some suspicion has aired that Boris will have something to do with this - like he's actually making decisions - but there's nothing to confirm one way or the other.