London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport has attacked the Government for abandoning the capital’s transport network and called on the Chancellor to reinstate London’s vital transport funding.
In a speech in London, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport, Val Shawcross, said: ‘With the economic uncertainty of Brexit, it’s more important than ever that the Government supports our capital - because when London succeeds, the country succeeds.
‘Our capital is the beating heart of the UK and our roads are the arteries, so it’s just astounding that the Government is not only prepared to take away vital funding but make London’s drivers pay for roads outside the capital.
‘We’ve seen from the success of the Crossrail project how investment in London can benefit the whole of the country, and it’s vital that the Government uses its spring Statement next month to reinstate TfL’s funding and keep the capital moving.
According to Shawcross, TfL’s budget is £700m a year lower after the Government’s decision in 2015 to remove the operating grant. The previous Mayor failed to defend London’s transport subsidy when the Government decided to withdraw it, despite knowing how important the success of London is to the rest of the UK.
Shawcross called on the Government to use its Spring Statement next month to reinstate the TfL’s grant for the good of the whole of the UK.
In 2014/15 TfL received an operating grant of £842m – which made up 12 per cent of its revenue. For the coming budget year, 2018/19, this operating grant has been completely withdrawn. This will be see a £700m per year cut in Government funding over five years
It was not until the Mayor’s TfL business plan in December 2016 that TfL had a comprehensive plan to return to financial sustainability while making London a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city. This has seen TfL reduce operating costs by £153m in the last financial year and TfL is ahead of this year’s saving targets by £194m.
Investment on transport in London is beneficial to the entire UK. Transport for London estimates that around 60 per cent of the money it spends on goods and services occurs outside of London and helps support 50,000 jobs. The opening of the Elizabeth line is adding an estimated £42bn to the UK economy
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