Transport for London have announced that tougher standards for the Low Emission Zone in London are being pushed back from October 2020 to the end of February 2021.
TfL state this is to help the freight industry.
Who even knows if TfL will exist by the end of the year. There are murmurs of running out of cash very soon. There is currently no income from buses or the congestion charge and other forms of transport are down by more than 90 per cent.
TfL were already in severe financial trouble. George Osborne announced an eventual cut to the entire annual grant of £700 million. That was introduced over a number of years and fares freeze further limited revenue.
In addition, Government now retain all vehicle excise duty raised from drivers in the capital which is only spent outside London. That left the bizarre situation where tube users are paying for roads. Perhaps the only place in the world where public transport users subsidise drivers.
For years now it has appeared Central Government wanted to cripple if not destroy TfL. Now they may have the chance to bury it. But given the DfT’s record across a whole range of transport (see Southeastern with endless short term extensions and a lack of strategic planning) and what will happen if they take greater control?