Featured in the FTL Newsletter, May 2022
The government is demanding that TfL resolve its own financial difficulties following the decimation of its finances due to the Covid crisis, but various funding solutions proposed by the Mayor have been vetoed. Proposals include a tax on home deliveries, a bid for the £500 million per year paid by Londoners in vehicle excise duty and a boundary charge for vehicles entering the capital.
It seems the government is intent on moulding TfL into its own image demanding changes such as fare increases, a ‘dynamic’ fares structure which would charge more in busy periods, research into driverless tubes and changes to TfL’s pension fund.
Without further funding TfL will be forced into a regime of managed decline resulting in lower service levels and no replacement of outdated equipment. The number of bus services experiencing frequency cuts continues at a steady rate. London TravelWatch calculated that between summer 2021 and the middle of February 2022 there will have been frequency cuts on 52 day bus routes and 4 night bus routes. Routes 1 and 271 are for the chop.
London is the only large city whose transport system is not supported by central government grants.