London's transport needs secure funding

2021-12-09 -
Array, ASLEF
A London Underground train is moving into a platform and is blurred. There are some people (also blurred) standing on the platform.

Mick Whelan, General Secretary, has co-signed a letter to the UK Government calling for a long-term funding settlement for Transport for London (TfL).

London's transport system has been hit by a big decline in passenger numbers. During the pandemic, the number of journeys dropped by 95%, and ridership has still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

As the only major world capital which doesn't receive regular central government funding for its public transport, TfL relies on income from fares. During the peak of the pandemic, this income all but disappeared.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and TfL chiefs have negotiated with the UK Government at six-monthly intervals for funding to keep services running, and the end of the current funding settlement is this Saturday December 11th.

There are still no plans for a proper long-term funding arrangement to enable London's economic recovery and to support a fully functioning transport system for the future, and no deal has been struck to keep TfL afloat from this weekend.

Today trade union and business leaders wrote to the UK Government to demand a fair, long-term funding deal.

The letter explains that a good deal for London will be a good deal for Britain too. It will help the wider economy build back stronger, and it will safeguard jobs in transport supply chains throughout the UK.

ASLEF has continually called for investment in public transport, and it is important that London's transport is no exception to this. The government must be held to account on plans to level up the country. Levelling down London is not the way to do this.


The letter was signed by:

Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary

Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC

Mick Lynch, General Secretary of RMT Union

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of TSSA

Sharon Graham, General Secretary of Unite the Union

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

John Dickie, Chief Executive of London First