Transport for London has revealed its fares income is down £90million in the year-to-date, raising serious questions about the Mayor’s ability to balance the books.
Figures released at the February TfL board meeting show income shortfalls across all forms of transport;
– Overall fares income down £90million due to lower passenger volumes
– London Underground down £43million due to 14 million fewer passenger journeys than budgeted
– Bus fares income down £51million in the year to date as passenger volumes affected by congestion
– London Overground down £7million due to 4 million fewer passenger journeys than budgeted
– Congestion Charge income down £6million due to lower volumes of chargeable vehicles (most likely people modernising cars)
The Mayor’s election pledges of freezing single fares and the one-hour hopper bus fare mean TfL has to find £670million in savings over the next four years. His current budget has increased borrowing and reduced budget reserves significantly to pay for these policies.
Gareth Bacon, London Assembly Member for Bexley and Bromley, said:
“Under the previous administration, TfL’s budget had room to adjust to unexpected changes like income shortfalls, but Sadiq Khan’s costly policies have afforded TfL no such luxury.
“He already needed to find £670million in savings with his partial fares freeze and hopper fare – this could now be as high as £760million.
“These policies have put London’s transport budget on a knife-edge and are already impacting future investment. Today’s news only worsens this situation.
“This reduced fares income could send the Mayor’s house of cards tumbling down, and it will take years to clean up this mess.”