THE Labour & Co-operative Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville has joined calls by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for a new emergency funding package for Transport for London, which is at risk of losing 1 in 5 bus routes in Hackney, and is urging local people to sign Labour’s petition to the Government.
The Labour & Co-operative Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, said: “Public transport, particularly buses, is vital to Hackney’s recovery. It is an affordable way for many of our residents to get to work, shop, and get around the Borough to see friends and family.
“A quarter of our residents rely on buses as their main mode of transport and over a half use public transport to get to work. Losing 10 bus routes just before Christmas ─ the most important time of year for local businesses ─ would be a disaster. The Tories are putting Hackney’s recovery at risk.
“I would urge local people to support Mayor Sadiq Khan’s calls for a new TfL funding package and sign Labour’s petition to Transport Minister Grant Shapps to save Hackney’s buses.”
Mayor Glanville also led a joint letter with 20 other Labour council leaders and mayors from across London, urging the Government to deliver a fair funding deal for the capital’s transport network.
The coronavirus pandemic drastically impacted TfL’s finances, with the transport network seeing a 95% drop in passengers during lockdowns and are still recovering from the financial impact of the pandemic today.
But the emergency funding package from the Government to keep TfL going runs out in four days, and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned that 1 in 5 bus routes could close without further government support.
This could result in Hackney losing up to 10 bus routes that service the Borough just before Christmas ─ the most important time of year for many local businesses.
Cllr Mete Coban, Hackney Labour’s transport lead, said: “Buses will play a vital role in Hackney Labour’s mission to rebuild a better Hackney ─ both as an affordable and low carbon way to get around the borough.
“As an inner-London borough with no tube stations, losing up to 10 bus routes will cripple our recovery and our race to net zero. If the Tories are serious about both of these they will give TfL the emergency funding they need.”
49 bus routes service Hackney as set out in Hackney Council’s transport strategy: hackney.gov.uk/transport-strategy. The strategy also includes data that shows:
49 bus routes service LBH, 10 of these are in London’s top 25 busiest in London.
26% of residents use the bus as their main mode of transportation.
36% of Hackney’s population use public transport for the majority of their trips, and 57% use public transport to get to work.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned that an entire Tube Line and 100 bus routes could close without an emergency funding package for TfL: www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/whole-tube-line-could-close-if-funding-deal-fails
The joint letter to the Government:
The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
Secretary of State for Transport
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
8 December 2021
Dear Secretary of State,
The Risk to a National Recovery and Transport for London Funding Deadline
There are just 72 hours left until the current funding deal for Transport for London runs out.
As London Labour leaders we are extremely concerned by the lack of certainty surrounding the future funding for Transport for London. A strong transport infrastructure is vitally important to London and the rest of the country. Given London is excluded from the government’s £7bn regional transport fund, a fair and reasonable deal with TfL is vital.
Prior to the pandemic, despite the work of the Mayor of London to reduce TfL’s deficit and increase cash balances, TfL was ultimately having to work with a fundamentally broken funding model even before the pandemic hit. Compared to other global cities such as Paris and New York, TfL received far less direct Government funding – TfL has to raise 72 per cent of its income from fares, whereas it is only 38 per cent in New York or Paris. It is the only major city in Western Europe without a direct operating grant from government.
When the pandemic hit and fare income collapsed, TfL’s finances plummeted overnight. TfL has received only short-term funding deals from the government since, despite the promise of longer-term funding which has yet to materialise.
Putting London’s transport at-risk puts London’s economic recovery from the pandemic at risk and this puts a national recovery at risk. Without future funding commitments, TfL will be forced to cut bus, tube, and overground services, not just for the 9 million residents, but also for businesses and the tourist industry.
It’s is not only our core transport links at risk, so too are walking and cycling schemes, longterm investment in maintaining a safe road network, vital station upgrades, and essential projects supporting desperately needed improvements in air quality. A failure to agree on a deal also risks funding which goes into London borough’s transport schemes.
There is no UK economic recovery from the pandemic without a London recovery and there is no London recovery without a properly funded transport network in the capital. London is the engine of the UK’s economy, contributing £36 billion net to the Treasury. That money for national investment, flowing from London, can only continue if London continues to function efficiently.
Furthermore, a properly funded transport network matters for thousands of people across the country whose jobs are part of the TfL supply train. From Falkirk, Bolton and Derby to Liverpool, Yorkshire and beyond, 43,000 jobs could be at risk.
Running down the clock on the future funding of London’s transport system will impact millions of Londoners, businesses and tourists, tens of thousands of jobs for working people across the UK, and a national economic recovery. As local government leaders, we urge you to deliver a fair funding deal for London’s vital transport network.
We would be happy to provide any further information you may need.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Cllr. Darren Rodwell Leader of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
Cllr. Muhammed Butt Leader of the London Borough of Brent
Cllr. Georgia Gould Leader of the London Borough of Camden
Cllr. Hamida Ali Leader of the London Borough of Croydon
Cllr. Peter Mason Leader of the London Borough of Ealing
Cllr. Nesil Caliskan Leader of the London Borough of Enfield
Cllr. Danny Thorpe Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich
Mayor Philip Glanville Mayor of the London Borough of Hackney
Cllr Stephen Cowan Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Cllr. Peray Ahmet Leader of the London Borough of Haringey
Cllr. Graham Henson Leader of the London Borough of Harrow
Cllr. Steve Curran Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow
Cllr. Kaya Comer-Schwartz Leader of the London Borough of Islington
Cllr. Claire Holland Leader of the London Borough of Lambeth
Mayor Damien Egan Mayor of the London Borough of Lewisham
Cllr. Mark Allison Leader of the London Borough of Merton
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz Mayor of the London Borough of Newham
Cllr. Jas Athwal Leader of the London Borough of Redbridge
Cllr Kieron Williams Leader of the London Borough of Southwark
Mayor John Biggs Mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Cllr. Grace Williams Leader of the London Borough of Waltham Forest