Londoners would be “punished” with proposals that include paying £ 15 for suburban driving, the mayor claimed, after talks over a new financing settlement for the capital in the face of Covid-19 failed to reach an agreement.
Negotiations on a “London Transport” settlement will continue after the government has offered to extend the existing bailout terms of 1.6 billion pounds for another two weeks, ahead of the deadline to avoid a financial meltdown.
Although Transport for London said it was “heading towards a bargain”, the City Council said the government’s proposals were “incorrect” – including canceling free travel for those under 18 and dramatically expanding the congestion charge zone to the outer suburbs. .
Mayor Sadiq Khan has sought another two billion pounds to transport London until next April, to cover lost revenues, especially from metro trips, where passengers were asked to stay away from public transport due to the Corona virus.
The Transport Authority in London confirmed that the Ministry of Transport submitted a proposal for funding last Friday with the terms attached, and the talks will now continue until the end of October. Transport Union Commissioner of London, Andy Bifford, said the two parties were “heading towards a deal” and that the extension was “reasonable and practical”.
However, Deputy Mayor Heidi Alexander said neither she nor Khan “can see how it is right to charge people for £ 15 for a mile drive from Wandsworth to Clapham, or from Catford to Lewisham starting October of next year … and that.” Actually what the government told us they want.
“We cannot get away from people under the age of 18 by traveling for free when so many people are facing real difficulties. The government should come to the negotiating table and talk wisely about it.”
A DfT spokesperson said it agreed to extend the support to allow more time for negotiations, adding: “These discussions will ensure that London has a safe and reliable network. It would be inappropriate to reveal more details at this point.”
TfL usually gets more than 70% of its income from fare income. Its finances have been torn apart by simply asking passengers to stay home and avoid public transportation after the Covid-19 pandemic began and tube use has fallen to 5% of normal levels. It’s now 35%, and bus use 60%, from pre-pandemic levels.
Khan described the current financing deal of £ 1.6 billion, which was due to expire on Saturday, as “plaster plaster”. Speaking on LBC on Friday, the mayor accused the government of trying to “punish Londoners for doing the right thing,” adding: “The government has given privatized train operators an 18-month grant without conditions … But it says to TfL we will give you a six-month deal with Restrictions.