Transport and travel union TSSA says today's government press conference was a missed opportunity to steady the travel trade and hits back at claims by the Prime Minister about Transport for London.
The Prime Minister had promised an update on international travel today, but instead he kicked the can down the road by saying that update would come from the Global Travel Taskforce instead. The Prime Minister also came under questioning for his lack of support for London.
London newspaper CityAM asked:
"London has been disproportionately affected, with unemployment 2% higher than elsewhere. You’ve not given TfL a long term funding plan… As a former Mayor of London why haven’t you done more to safeguard London?"
In his reply, Boris Johnson claimed he "left the finances of TfL in robust order" and, instead, tried to deflect to the action of the current Mayor of London. However, it was Boris Johnson’s actions when Mayor of London that have had the biggest effect on the funding of TfL, agreeing a £700million annual cut from central government.
Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said:
"We were expecting an update on international travel today, but the Prime Minister has kicked that down the road, dashing hopes across our travel trade.
"Our travel trade badly needs certainty going forward. After almost a whole year of shut down, our travel trade is in a desperate state, with jobs and businesses lost or suffering. It is not too late for the government to give this sector the bespoke support it so badly needs and which so far has not been forthcoming.
"We were astonished to hear Johnson’s untruths and politicking around lack of support for Transport for London and the capital more generally. It was under his tenure as Mayor that he agreed to slash funding arrangements for TfL, making it the only major capital transport system in the world without central funding. Given the importance of London to our whole country’s economy, this shameful act is only made worse by the lies he tells to try and cover his tracks."