Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs has written to the Secretary of State for Transport to call for immediate action from the UK Government on the funding gap for Transport for London.
Transport for London’s (TfL) current funding arrangement expires on 11th December 2021, and no decision has been made by the Government yet on TfL’s future funding. The pandemic has already had a big impact on customer footfall on the network for the past two years, and now with more Londoners beginning to use the services once again, TfL will be forced make significant cuts to services without the necessary support from the Government. One of these cuts include the potential closure of an entire London Underground line.
The letter notes that TfL’s funding structure relies far more on fare income than any other major global city, and the Mayor calls on the Government to agree a sustainable, long-term funding model with TfL in order to avoid a potential crisis for London public transport.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:
“People in Tower Hamlets heavily rely on public transport, but rather than providing Transport for London with the long term funding it so desperately needs, the Government is more interested in attacking the public network’s budgets and the frontline workers who have worked bravely in the face of this pandemic.
“I fully support Sadiq Khan’s call for the UK Government to protect London’s transport network in the midst of this unprecedented financial crisis caused by the pandemic and ensure that Transport for London is properly funded on a long-term basis.”
Full Text of the Letter to the Secretary of State for Transport
Dear Secretary of State,
London’s world-class public transport network is vital to both the economic and social
recovery of the city. Well-functioning public transport will enable people to get to work and
school safely, support the night-time economy, enjoy the cultural vibrancy that London has to
offer and support our net zero carbon goals while improving the city’s air quality.
Like many residents in Tower Hamlets, I am extremely concerned that there are just a few
days to go until Transport for London’s (TfL) current funding arrangement expires. Without
further government support, TfL will be forced to make significant cuts to services and is
potentially considering closing an entire London Underground line.
TfL’s funding structure relies far more on fare income than any other major global city. TfL’s
finances have therefore been significantly affected by the pandemic with fare incomes drying
up as Londoners followed your government’s advice to stay home and contain the spread of
Covid-19. According to TfL, if travel returns to eighty per cent of pre-pandemic levels, this
will equate to £1 billion in lost fare income.
It’s completely unjust for Londoners to pay the price for doing the right thing during the
pandemic by seeing vital services stripped back. The government must urgently step in and
agree a new funding arrangement with TfL to secure the future of the network.
As an area of low car ownership, cuts to transport services will be particularly devastating for
Tower Hamlets, affecting people’s ability to go about their daily lives and posing a significant
threat to local businesses.
A fully functioning public transport system is vital to the continued success of London and I
urge you to agree a sustainable, long-term funding model with TfL.
Mayor John Biggs
- Mayor of London statement on TfL funding: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-of-london-statement-on-tfl-funding