TSSA backs Sadiq Khan's independent review of TfL funding

Tube train moving through underground station, TfL

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has backed a decision by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to undertake an independent review of Transport for London funding and called for a return of the city's operating grant.

The move comes after Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, set out the terms of reference for a Government-led review into TfL’s future financial position and structure following the imposition of a take it or leave it short-term economic support package as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking to the Commons Transport Committee today Khan bemoaned the loss London’s operating grant – worth £700m a year in direct funding.

The Mayor said: 

“If we are going to have a good recovery, we need to understand that TfL is really important to the jobs the wealth the prosperity and the homes we need as well… it’s not sustainable for us to have 80 per cent of our services provided by fares.”

Manuel Cortes said: 

“It’s crystal clear TfL’s funding as it stands is not fit for purpose and there is a black hole where the operating grant once was.

“Sadiq Khan is right to hold this independent review because we have seen TfL straightjacketed into a rescue package which punishes ordinary Londoners for a pandemic which has crippled services.

“I’m happy to assist our Mayor in any way possible with the independent review because a long-term sustained funding settlement must be found. 

“It’s nigh on impossible for Ministers to argue that London – which powers the wider British economy – should continue to be the only world city without direct funding for its transport network. The operating grant must be reinstated – it is not a luxury but a necessity for London and well beyond and I’d urge the Tory Government to wake up to the fact.”