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Sadiq Khan opposes “draconian” TfL bailout plans

Sadiq Khan will work with London Mps to lobby against the changes 

The Mayor of London has condemned a Government plan to provide Transport for London (TfL) with rescue funding by implementing a series of “draconian” measures. 

Under the Government’s proposal, the £15 congestion charge zone would be extended out to the North and South Circular Roads, bus and Tube fares would rise and council tax would be increased.

“I simply cannot accept this Government plan, which would hit Londoners with a triple whammy of higher costs at a time when so many people are already facing hardship,” Sadiq Khan said. 

“Ministers already forced TfL to bring forward proposals to increase the cost and hours of the congestion charge in May – now they want to expand it to cover four million more Londoners.”

The Government has reportedly threatened to take direct control of TfL if the mayor does not agree to the offer. 

Mr Khan urged them to come back to the table with a revised deal and asked them to publish their review into TfL’s finances in full. 

The MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas, described the Government’s offer as an “attack on Londoners.” 

He pointed out the plan would force some of his constituents to pay £15 to visit neighbouring Newham. 

“We always knew that there would be difficult choices to make, but the Tories seemingly have no trouble handing a blank cheque to failing private train operators whilst refusing to give TfL the support it needs,” said Mr Cruddas. 

“The Tories are playing unscrupulous political games at a time when the national good should come first.

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas

“The Tories have already pulled the rug out from under our young people and the over-60s by removing travel concessions, now this.

“Make no mistake these measures will hit the poorest Londoners the hardest, stifling London’s economic recovery and leaving people in constituencies like mine overstretched and under increasing financial pressure.”

Mr Cruddas explained he would be working with the mayor and other London MPs to lobby against the changes.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We continue to discuss our funding requirements with the government and hope these discussions can be concluded successfully soon, so we can help London through the next phase of the pandemic.

“We have today agreed with the Government that our funding will be extended for two weeks so that these constructive discussions can be concluded.”

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