World News – GB – Sadiq Khan condemns ‘draconian’ conditions of TfL rescue


css-14iz86j-BoldText {font-weight: bold;} The government’s new funding proposals for Transport for London (TfL) are « misguided and draconian », according to Sadiq Khan

The mayor of London said ministers intend to impose a « triple whammy » of measures in return for bailout funding to cover losses suffered by Covid-19

The proposals include higher municipal taxes, an enlarged congestion charge zone and an increase in metro and bus fares

M Khan told a TfL board meeting: « Now is not the time for the government to play political games or be vindictive to London This is a much too serious question

« I intend to stand firm and fight for a fair deal for Londoners and do what is right for our city »

TfL bosses have asked for a £ 5 billion package to support services for the next 18 months, after passenger numbers and revenues drop following the March lockdown

On Friday, a last minute extension of this bailout was obtained to cover another two weeks

As part of the package of new measures, according to the office of Mr. Khan, ministers wish:

Union leaders have slammed the proposals, with some pointing to what they say is css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link {color: # 3F3F42;} css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited {color: # 696969;} css-yidnqd -InlineLink: link, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited {font-weight: bolder; border-bottom: 1px solid #BABABA; -webkit-text-decoration: none; text-decoration: none;} css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link: hover, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited: hover, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link: focus, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited: focus {border-bottom -color: currentcolor; border-bottom-width: 2px; color: # B80000;} @ support (text-underline-offset: 025em) {css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited {border-bottom: none; -webkit-text-decoration: underline #BABABA; text-decoration: underline #BABABA; -webkit-text-decoration-thick: 1px; text-decoration-thick: 1px; -webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; text-underline-offset: 025em;} css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link: hover, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited: hover, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: link: focus, css-yidnqd-InlineLink: visited: focus {- webkit-text-decoration-color: currentcolor; text-decoration-color: currentcolor; -webkit-text-decoration-thick: 2px; text-decoration-thick: 2px; color: # B80000;}} divergence in the way the government treats private railway companies and TfL

The government takes a tough negotiating position with the mayor on how the money can be recovered and transport should be funded now in the absence of regular income

There is a condition that Sadiq Khan extends the congestion charge zone inside the north and south circular

He is under pressure to agree to sharp price increases and the end of concessional travel for children and retirees

A plan has now emerged for a precept – an additional element to the council tax as it currently exists for the police

This would mean that the cost of public transport would be spread over all Londoners whether they use it or not – but apparently at no cost to the millions of users who live outside the capital

There has been a ministerial threat to take direct control of TfL, and worrying rumbles from the unions

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA, said: « This punishment of Londoners and TfL is overtly political on the part of the Conservatives

« They were only too happy to support the failing private rail operators, but when it comes to our country’s transport success, they will not provide the necessary funds »

M Khan also called on the government to publish a full review of TfL’s finances, which he says was only shared with redactions.

The mayor said the government’s proposals « would hit Londoners with a triple whammy of higher costs at a time when so many people already face hardships »

« The government should support Londoners during this difficult time – not make ill-advised and draconian proposals, » he said

« Ministers have already forced TfL to come up with proposals to increase the cost and hours of the congestion charge in May – they now want to expand it to cover an additional four million Londoners

« They also want to dramatically increase fares in London and hit all Londoners with a new regressive tax

« I am ready to discuss with the government how the necessary funds can be raised – but a proposal which excludes Londoners from punishment is totally unacceptable and makes no economic sense »

Railways, Shipping and Transportation Union (RMT) General Secretary Mick Cash said: « It is appalling that the government is targeting staff pensions among a series of other savage measures in this short term financing deal

« I warn them that any attempt to hack the pension rights of our members will result in a total campaign of political and industrial resistance »

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport said: « We have agreed to an extension of the support period and to roll over unspent funds from the Transport for London extraordinary funding agreement, which leaves more time to negotiate a new settlement

« These discussions will ensure a secure and reliable network for London. It would be inappropriate to disclose more details at this stage »

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Sadiq Khan, Transport to London, curfew

News from around the world – GB – Sadiq Khan condemns « draconian » conditions of TfL rescue


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