The Government has not only failed to finalise a transport deal for London but has also provided no formal response to Transport for London’s financial proposals, five months after they received them, the Mayor confirmed to me today.
The last-minute extension of current emergency funding will expire tomorrow.
I was shocked to hear the Government hasn’t responded to London’s transport finance plan even after five months. It was delivered on time on 11 January. If the Government demands a plan from us to such a strict deadline, then it owes us a timely response.
This leaves London in a continuing crisis over transport funding. Not only is short-term support for TfL uncertain, but with the Mayor today referring to lobbying with other mayors towards the Comprehensive Spending Review it appears as though long-term deals may be delayed until the Autumn.
Just last week Andy Byford, Commissioner for TfL said the Government had only acknowledged receipt of the plan to balance the budget, and six days later there has still been no response.
Londoners need certainty so that TfL can keep trains and buses running in the short-term, but also so we can invest in safe transport, better stations and to make healthy streets to walk and cycle on.
It is good that the Mayor has been visiting other cities to discuss with their Mayors how to work together. I have argued for that approach for years, and if cities cooperate they can make stronger arguments on behalf of their residents.
Had the further TfL funding deal been agreed as expected last week, I was ready to press the Mayor today on investment in walking and cycling.
An investment of £45 per head would enable rapid delivery of pedestrian crossings at every junction in London, safe cycle routes and more bikes available to hire.
London cannot make progress on these plans until the Government responds to TfL’s proposals for longer term investment.