Today I’ve had to agree to a new funding deal with the Government to ensure we can continue to run vital transport services at this crucial time for our city.
Yet again Boris Johnson’s Tory Government has tried to punish Londoners for doing the right thing by staying at home and avoiding public transport during lockdown, which led to fares income falling by up to 90%. But we have fought hard and successfully managed to kill off the worst of the conditions the Tories wanted to impose on London.
This includes preventing huge cuts to transport services equivalent to cancelling 1 in 5 bus routes or closing a Tube line. These massive cuts would not only have damaged our transport network, but would have hampered London’s economic recovery as well as the national recovery.
However, this is far from a perfect deal.
The Tories are still insisting that Transport for London (TfL) look at options to raise a further £500m to £1bn of revenue per year by 2023. I’ve been clear with the Government that there are very few options to do this and forcing TfL to impose draconian additional measures on London would be unacceptable. But I’m hopeful that as London bounces back from the pandemic, and income from fares continues to increase, we’ll be able to avoid introducing any unfair measures on Londoners.
Boris Johnson’s Tory Government is also forcing us to look at reforming TfL’s pension scheme. I’ve made it clear that the Government’s approach to try to rush through reforms is wrong and ill-judged when our transport key workers have done so much to keep our city moving during the pandemic. The Tory plans risk unnecessary industrial action, which would be extremely costly to our city’s economy and entirely of the Tories’ own making.
Thank you for again for your help over recent weeks and months. The way we have been able to protect the transport services we all rely on – over multiple funding deals for TfL – shows what we can achieve when we stand up for London together.
Labour’s Mayor of London