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Government Urged To Ditch 'Cruel' London Fares Policy 

20 May 2020

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on the Government to ditch its 'cruel policy' of withdrawing free travel for children and the over 60s on public transport in London. 

In a deal struck last Friday (15th May) Transport for London (TfL) secured £1.6bn in emergency Government funding to keep Tube and bus services running until September. However, the package – needed due to the slump in passenger numbers as a result of Covid-19 - came with a number of strings attached. 

Commenting, Cortes said: “There’s no doubt a deal was required to keep London moving in the midst of this public health emergency but what the Tories are insisting on punishes ordinary Londoners, the elderly and children in particular. 

“I say to Ministers now - this is a cruel and needless policy which further ramps up social injustice in a city which already receives no direct Government funding to run day to day transport services. 

“The Government should think again and engage with London Mayor, Sadiq Khan to find a better solution so that those least able to afford it do not pick up the tab for the effect of Coronavirus on public transport. 

“Questions must be asked about the Government’s motives for withdrawing free travel and to add insult to injury we are yet to see any detail about when this might happen. Will it be weeks or months? 

“It’s remarkable that Government is discussing how schools will return but at the same time believes it’s okay to charge for the 1.5 million journeys undertaken by children on buses in London every day.” 

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