Sadiq Khan accuses government of “misleading” rescue statement


Sadiq Khan

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Sadiq Khan said government statement on bailout was misleading

London Mayor Sadiq Khan defended allegations that a £ 1.6 billion bailout by the Transport for London government was partly due to financial mismanagement.

The government agreed to release emergency funding on Thursday in return for a series of concessions.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps criticized “the pre-existing poor condition of TfL’s financial condition”.

Khan said the statement was “highly political” and “at best misleading”.

The government’s comments were “consistent with the very political manner in which they conducted these negotiations [and] is misleading at best, “said the mayor.

In a written statement to Parliament, Shapps said that an “important secondary factor” in the need for a bailout “was the pre-existing poor condition of Transport for London (TfL) as a result of the decisions made in the past four years. “.

Mr. Khan became mayor of London in May 2016, succeeding Boris Johnson.

In response, Khan said, “TfL’s finances were in much better shape just before Covid-19 than the mess I inherited from the Prime Minister when he left town hall.

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Transport to London had to cut metro services considerably due to coronavirus

“The only reason why TfL is now experiencing financial difficulties, like any other transport operator, is that our tariff revenues dropped by 90% during the lockout. “

In exchange for emergency funding, TfL agreed to:

  • Restore a full underground service as soon as possible
  • Collect fares on buses, which he stopped doing during the crisis due to driver safety
  • Temporarily suspend free trips for those over 60 at morning peak and for those under 18 all day

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Grant Shapps said TfL was in a bad financial situation “because of the decisions made in the past four years”

Khan said the government had “insisted” on reducing the congestion charge and the ultra-low emission zone.

The government had “also insisted that Londoners’ fares should exceed inflation next year,” said Khan.

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In 2019-2020, Transport for London received £ 4.9 billion, or 47% of the revenue of the transportation authority.

It costs £ 600 million a month to keep the network running with its current reduced service, TfL said.

The lockout has resulted in a 95% reduction in the number of people using the Tube compared to the same period last year.

Bus passenger numbers have also dropped by 85% and customers no longer need to draw to pay for trips as part of driver protection measures.

Most TfL services are still operating, but 7,000 employees – about 25% of the workforce – have been put on leave to cut costs.


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