Bus cuts are Khan’s ‘artificial weapon’ in government funding war, says minister

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Khan hit back, saying Tory cuts to TfL funding in 2015, combined with the loss of fares revenue in the pandemic, meant there was “nothing left to cut but services”.

The London bus cuts offered by Transport for London (TfL) are an ‘artificial weapon’ in Sadiq Khan’s battle to secure a long-term government funding deal, the transport minister has said.

In a letter sent as TfL secured a two-and-a-half-week extension to its government financial support deal, Grant Shapps claimed the bus cuts, which would include four in Southwark, are “not necessary and won’t save a lot of money.” .”

Bus drivers’ union threatens strike over possible route cuts

The Conservative Transport Secretary has said the bus cuts are being backed by a revenue subsidy rather than long-term capital funding, – which Labor Mayor Khan and TfL want.

Shapps said in his letter: “Companies operating the threatened routes are perplexed by your new and more dramatic proposals, pointing out that several of the routes have seen some of the best recoveries in passenger demand in London.

“The CEO of one of the companies described your plans to us as ‘making no sense at all…

“[The cuts] were artificially created by you as a political weapon in your campaign for a long term capital funding deal.

“But, bus operations have little or nothing to do with capital funding – they are backed by a revenue grant, which the government has provided throughout the pandemic and will continue to provide. .”

Calls on Khan to publicly answer questions about proposed bus discounts in Southwark

Khan hit back, saying the Tory cuts to TfL funding in 2015, combined with the loss of fares revenue in the pandemic, meant there was ‘nothing left to cut except services’.

He added: “The reason why a lack of capital funding affects service levels and leads to a managed decline is that if you don’t have money to maintain and renew infrastructure, you have to take money somewhere else.”

It came as Khan warned that further cuts to metro and bus services are “imminent”. He added: ‘Time is running out and that is why I am once again urging the government to meet with me so we can finally agree a long-term sustainable funding deal that will not only protect London’s economic recovery , but that of the whole country.”

The Mayor of London has been invited to Southwark Council’s Monitoring and Control Committee meeting on July 6 to discuss bus cuts with councillors.

TfL is holding a consultation on bus cuts until July 12. Take part in the consultation here.

Southwark Labor petition against bus cuts proposed by Labor Mayor Khan

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