TSSA blames government for “madhouse economics” and calls for TfL talks
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes has blamed the government for “madhouse economics” and called for urgent talks after it was revealed Transport for London (TfL) will be forced to delay £500m worth of investment across 2020/21.
TfL is set for a major overhaul of its business plan as a result of the pandemic, with attendant downturn in travel and a take it or leave it short-term emergency package from government.
TfL set out emergency budget plans on Tuesday which highlighted the £500m worth of delays across more than 300 projects in London, with the city’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, describing the cuts as a “false economy.”
Manuel Cortes said: “Sadiq is totally right – this Tory government is dealing in the economics of the madhouse. Instead of giving TfL the tools to keep London moving safely after Covid-19 they have guaranteed a loss of infrastructure investment and a hike in fares for Londoners, suspension of free travel for under 18s and over 60s – plus the restoration of, and increase in, the congestion charge.
“This latest assault on our public transport system is a kick in the teeth for Londoners, making them pay for doing the right thing and staying at home in line with the government’s own advice.
“It was Boris Johnson who as London Mayor allowed the Tories to bin TfL’s operating grant, which was worth £700 million a year. It’s obvious that it is completely unsustainable for London to be the only great city in the world whose public transport system receives no central government funding.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg. The financial package only runs until October. That’s why, rather than waiting for ministers to preside over another manufactured crisis I’m calling for urgent talks to begin now about what the long-term funding model for TfL should look like.”
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