– Signing-off of plans spells uncertainty for transport network
Conservative London Assembly member Keith Prince said:
“So the Mayor’s ‘fares freeze’ is now official – ‘officially’ leaving TfL with a £640million black hole in its budget, ‘officially’ slashing investment in London’s transport network and ‘officially’ providing no benefit whatsoever to hundreds of thousands of travelcard holders who do not qualify.
“Sadiq Khan has so far been unable to provide any answers as to how he intends to cover the cost of this vain gesture, making his pledge meaningless.
“Some Londoners may well avoid a small increase in their travel costs in the short term, but in the long term all of us will pay for this disastrous policy.”
Just four weeks after the election the Mayor’s flagship policy has been thrown out of the window. By raising Travelcard prices by inflation and breaking his biggest promise he is turning his back on those who showed faith in him. Hundreds of thousands of commuting Londoners use Travelcards, and thus will never see this freeze.
We’ve already seen Sadiq Khan row back on six of his election pledges – this is added salt in the wound for those who believed in his manifesto. Sadiq Khan was asked about his fares freeze thousands of times during the Mayoral campaign. Not once did he mention that this freeze would not include Travelcards. People may well conclude that he was happy to say anything to get elected and now he’s Mayor he’s very happy to ignore any promise that is inconvenient, and if they do think that who can blame them?
London’s part-time commuters will be able to buy flexible travel tickets from January 2015.
The Mayor will now instruct TfL to work up detailed plans and costings for the proposal. This is directly in response to a recent report published by Conservative London Assembly Member Roger Evans.
“Home Works” urges TfL to introduce part-time Travelcards and annual rebates for those who underuse their full-time tickets.
At the beginning of last year I published a report called Home Works. In it, I argued that Transport for London should introduce part-time Travelcards and annual rebates for those who underuse their full-time tickets. As well as encouraging flexible working, the introduction of part-time Travelcards would help to make part-time work pay and reduce demand on London’s overcrowded public transport.
Unfortunately the Mayor is somewhat sceptical of home working, so he was not initially keen on my proposal. However I have continued to plug away at building support for a measure that will improve the lives of a great many Londoners. My report has been downloaded hundreds of times and the weight of numbers in favour of my proposal has increased.
2014/15 costed proposals will slash over-the-top TfL perks and put cash into the pockets of Londoners
Money raised from scrapping the over generous TfL “nominee pass”, which allows free travel for flatmates and lodgers of staff, should be ploughed into helping council tax payers, commuters and start-up businesses, according to Gareth Bacon, GLA Conservatives budget spokesman.
The estimated £10m raised by cancelling the nominee pass scheme should be used to pay for the following tax-cutting and pro-business measures:
- £7m to further cut council tax. A 2.2% cut for 2014/15 (compared to the Mayor’s 1.3%), accelerating progress towards the Mayor’s 10% reduction target by 2016
- £1m to fund a feasibility study (including all technical assessments and financial modelling) into the introduction of part-time Travelcards and one-hour bus tickets
- £2m to pilot the conversion of 70 empty garages into affordable workshops and studios for start-ups and micro businesses
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