TfL has called for its £700m operating grant to be reinstated.
Transport for London has called on the government to reinstate its £700 million operating grant after a lack of funds forced the authority to suspend all non-essential roadworks for two years.
The government removed the grant in 2015, and has said that, from 2021, Londoners’ Vehicle Excise Duty will not be invested in roads within the capital. Furthermore, in a move TfL has called ‘shameful’, the government has prevented the city from accessing the £220 million clean air fund.
As a result of the ‘significant budget reduction’, the capital’s transport authority with no choice but to cut costs and find money from elsewhere.
A TfL statement confessed that the costs of running London’s roads were now being subsidised by public transport users’ fares, and that non-essential and ‘proactive’ roadworks would be ceased until 2020 in a bid to reduce expenditure.
London’s deputy mayor for transport, Val Shawcross, said reinstatement of the grant was necessary to ensure the smooth running of London, which she claimed was vital to the UK’s economic success.
‘With the economic uncertainty of Brexit, it’s more important than ever that the government supports our capital - because when London succeeds, the country succeeds,’ she said.
‘Our capital is the beating heart of the UK and our roads are the arteries, so it’s just astounding that the government is not only prepared to take away vital funding but make London’s drivers pay for roads outside the capital.
‘We’ve seen from the success of the Crossrail project how investment in London can benefit the whole of the country, and it’s vital that the government uses its spring statement next month to reinstate TfL’s funding and keep the capital moving.’