Mayor must stop playing politics with TfL bailout
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Keith Prince AM has slammed Sadiq Khan for "playing politics with people's lives" after the Mayor threatened to cut London's Tube service unless the Government agrees a bailout for Transport for London tonight.
The Mayor made the demand despite TfL sitting on £1.2 billion in reserves which is enough to run London's transport network for two months.
GLA Conservative Transport Spokesman, Keith Prince AM, commented: "Sadiq Khan's ultimatum is unhelpful and alarmist and exactly the sort of political gameplay that no Londoner wants to see from their Mayor during a crisis. Transport for London will inevitably need a bailout to continue operating during this crisis, but TfL has £1.2 billion in reserves which is enough to run the network for two months.
"Sadiq Khan needs to stop playing politics with people's lives. Many Londoners rely on public transport to travel across our city, and if the Mayor decides to cut the Tube and bus service again to make a political point, he will put putting peoples' health, livelihoods, and our city's struggling economy at risk.
"Instead of making irresponsible comments on the radio, the Mayor should be engaging constructively with the Government to secure a bailout and restore London's public transport network.
"I understand the difficulties in quickly agreeing on a bailout for Transport for London. Their finances were a mess going into this crisis. Sadiq Khan's fare freeze and the delay to Crossrail have cost TfL and the taxpayer billions in lost fares and bailouts. On Khan's watch, TfL has reached a record debt of £12 billion and delayed or cancelled 22 major transport upgrades to solve its money woes. It's no surprise TfL has crumbled during this crisis. Any bailout from the Government should include proper oversight and conditions to put an end to Sadiq Khan's mismanagement of TfL's finances."