Government Threat to TfL Jobs and Services

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Government Threat to TfL Jobs and Services

This morning Transport Minister, Grant Shapps MP issued a letter to London MPs regarding the recently announced Transport for London funding settlement. The opening paragraph of the letter from the Transport Minister states that the government “have agreed with the Mayor of London a new settlement until 31 March 2024 or until Transport for London reaches financial sustainability, whichever is the sooner.” This follows on from the initial Covid bailout and subsequent temporary settlements.

In 2015 the then Tory Chancellor, George Osborne announced that the entire £700m per year operational subsidy provided to TfL would be removed by the end of the decade. At present, Transport for London is one of the only transport networks in Western Europe to receive no government funding and the UK has the most expensive transport network in Europe for passengers.

In the letter Shapps explains: “the Mayor will be required to continue work on the introduction of driverless trains on London Underground. ”

The Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham has spoken out in response to the letter: “I find this attitude from the government completely out of sync with the needs of working people. The implication that, during a cost-of-living crisis, instead of supporting tube and rail workers, TfL should be investing to make them redundant and hike fares is beyond the pale.”

It is anticipated that for Transport for London to meet the demands of the settlement, bus services will be cut, leading to hundreds of job losses and a reduction in connectivity across London. It will also mean fare rises are necessary at a time when many other European nations are reducing fares or making travel free to support citizens through the cost-of-living crisis.

Jon Cruddas MP added: “The Tories are driving unemployment, hiking up transport fares, inflation is at a record high, and we now face an unprecedented cost of living crisis. Transport for London requires grant funding to function sustainable services for passengers and the people that keep it running. I can’t believe that this latest settlement is the best on offer, the Tories know as we all do that Britain doesn’t recover unless London recovers.”