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New government funding proposals for Transport for London (TfL) are “ill advised and draconian”, according to Sadiq Khan.

 

The mayor of London said ministers aim to impose a “triple whammy” of measures in return for rescue funding to cover the losses incurred through Covid-19.

 

The proposals include higher council taxes, an expanded congestion charge zone and a hike in Tube and bus fares.

 

The Department for Transport said talks over a settlement are ongoing.

 

TfL bosses have asked for a £5.7bn package to prop up services for the next 18 months, after passenger numbers and revenues plummeted in the aftermath the March lockdown.

 

In May, the government granted TfL £1.6bn in emergency funding to keep services running.

 

Then on Friday, a last-minute extension of that bailout was secured to cover another two weeks.

 

‘Nakedly political’

As part of the package of new measures, according to Mr Kahn’s office, ministers want to:

  • Extend the £15 Congestion Charge Zone to the North and South circular roads in 12 months’ time
  • Increase TfL fares by more than Retail Prices Index+1%
  • Introduce a new council tax precept charge in London for an unspecified amount

Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary, said that: “This punishment of Londoners and TfL is nakedly political from the Tories.”They were only too happy to prop up failing private train operators, but when it comes to our country’s transport success story they won’t provide the funds needed.”Mr Khan has also called for the government to publish in full a review of TfL’s finances, which he said has only been shared with redactions.The mayor said that the government’s proposals “would hit Londoners with a triple whammy of higher costs at a time when so many people are already facing hardship”.