Saturday, April 13, 2024


Transport for London chairman Sadiq Khan — who is also the capital city’s socialist mayor — is seeking a new £5.7bn rescue package for TfL from the UK Treasury. This will be additional to the £1.6bn bailout TfL secured in May. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Khan’s beloved mass transportation systems in London have been rendered obsolete by obligatory social-distancing measures and general public reluctance to travel in anything remotely like close proximity. Since the Covid pandemic struck, TfL income from tube and bus fares has plummeted by around 90%.

In parallel, sales of supremely self-isolating small motorcycles and scooters to commuters have rocketed, despite receiving a deliberate absence of endorsement from Khan in his congestion and clean-air strategies.

Senior members of the Conservative government have intimated that TfL will probably to get most of the extra money requested but strings will be attached. For the previous bailout, Khan was forced to abandon a transport fares feeeze he had imposed after his election in 2016. He was also obliged to increase congestion and low-emissions zone charges.

A similar multi-billion package for Britain’s railway network was agreed recently, given that most main-line and commuter trains are still running without passengers. In that case, privatised franchises were abolished and the system effectively renationalised. 


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