TfL funding deal kicked down the road: Short extension given again

A long-term funding deal for Transport for London has been kicked down the road for a further six weeks as another short term extension until 4th February was announced this evening.

The Department for Transport state they will study plans by Mayor Sadiq Khan to increase the age eligibility for the 60+ Oyster Card, end Travelcards and increase council tax by 19th January.

London buses have been subject to cuts for some time

A day after announcing those measures Khan then announced changes to the Congestion Charge that will cost TfL £70 million a year.

This is the latest short term funding deal which offers little ability to plan for the mid term, let alone the long term.

Last minute talks

Government and TfL only begun discussions a very recently on meeting the latest deadline (well, the last one was a week ago) and expect more of the same in February.

Business groups have criticised the short term nature of talks and a failure to produce any plans for the future.

Short termism also runs the risk of staffing and expertise in place for longer term projects walking away.

Before the latest round of restrictions including a work from home order, TfL was seeing steady growth with passenger numbers back around 2010 levels. That dropped sharply since Government guidance changed last week.

Same again next month

The obvious difficulty now is late January or early February is again extremely unlikely to offer much guidance of how passenger numbers will go in the spring and beyond.

Work from home orders and greatly reduced tourism will stay in the short term, so there’s little chance of any meaningful insight before the next deadline.

The latest restrictions also push back the chance of break even by 2023 as demanded by Government.

Khan in response will be asked why he is favouring car drivers and sacrificing £70 m annual income at such a time, and why he isn’t vocal about increased devolution to gain revenue if Government will not support.

There’s much he could call for and powers many mayors in other world cities possess, such as property powers which could apply to ultra-prime London property rather than blunt instruments such as a blanket council tax rise which hits the poor to a greater extent and hotel / airbnb overnight taxes. His last manifesto was very quiet on pushing for measures.

Will he? And will government take a long term view for public transport in the capital?

 

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Murky Depths

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

2 thoughts on “TfL funding deal kicked down the road: Short extension given again

  • December 17, 2021 at 9:20 pm
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    There’s a shocker, cutting the Congestion Charge and putting the burden onto the backs of taxpayers! Typical pandering to those rich enough to be able to afford to own and drive a vehicle, while sticking it to those of us who, out of necessity, must ride the buses! I’m just waiting for the elimination of bus lanes, the reduction of frequency on the routes that remain, and the elimination of ALL CONCESSIONS! This during a time when we need to be increasing our use of mass transit, the only real green option!

    Reply
  • December 18, 2021 at 6:23 pm
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    I totally agree Paul SuperUnknown. It was a shock cutting the congestion charge at a time we are encouraged to use public transport more.

    Sadly a lot of bus routes have already seen cuts to frequenices meaning more overcrowded buses. More routes are set to see cuts to frequencies and changes to routes.

    So many new homes are being constructed over the whole of Greater London with no real investment in public transport to serve them and the growing population Putting extra demand on public transport services which were already struggling to cope pre pandemic and will be again as we get to grips with covid and things finally get back to normal.

    Reply

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