TfL’s troubles are the result of government failure

Friday, 24th June

Sadiq Khan hydrogen bus - photo @SadiqKhan twitter

Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan

• THE proposed bus route changes and cuts proposed by Transport for London are a direct result of the government’s refusal to fund TfL adequately.

TfL is legally bound to reduce its bus network as a result of the punitive conditions the government attached to successive funding deals.

Private train companies across the UK have faced the same emergency funding issues as TfL, but in every case the government bailed them out with long-term agreements with no strings attached. There is no reason the same couldn’t happen for TfL.

The sole cause of TfL’s financial problems is Covid-19 which decimated the fares revenue TfL relies on when Londoners, including Westminster residents, did the right thing and stayed at home during lockdown.

It has never been more urgent for government to agree a fair, sustainable, long-term funding deal for TfL; for the benefit of Westminster residents and the whole country.

Without a proper deal at the end of June, which the government is reluctant to agree, cuts to over 100 bus routes will be back on the table.

The government is once again punishing Westminster residents by forcing TfL to cut 4 per cent of its bus network.

This is economic madness. London contributes more than £36billion net to the Treasury each year. Decimating TfL services can only damage London’s role as the UK’s economic powerhouse.

The government needs to stop punishing London for voting for a Labour mayor. There can be no UK recovery without a London recovery, and there can be no recovery in London without a properly-funded transport network in the capital.

And it’s not just Westminster residents who will lose out from the cuts. TfL contracts contribute around £7billion to the UK economy and for every £1 invested on the London Underground, 55p is paid to workforces outside of London.

Tens of thousands of jobs outside London that TfL’s supply chain supports in Falkirk, Bolton, Derby, Liverpool, Yorkshire and beyond are all at risk. So much for “levelling up”.

I urge all residents to complete the TfL consultation and to register your opposition to these government-demanded bus cuts.

CLLR PAUL DIMOLDENBERG
Cabinet Member for City Management & Air Quality
City Hall, Victoria Street, SW1

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