Article: The next TfL financial crunch will be wrapped in a purple ribbon, and labelled “Crossrail”.

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Wolfie

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0900 on which days if you want to play that game?

The so called funding crisis could easily be solved if they didn't give millions of people free travel, they protected revenue on buses and didn't have some of the lowest bus fares in the UK.

Nothing there that isn't pretty obvious.
Utter rubbish. TfL's finances were destabilised by a stupid Tory party financial settlement (Johnson and Osborne) followed by a pandemic. What we have now is party political because London dared to vote against our Dear Leader. Notably post-COVID transport bailouts for the rest of the country have not had the same onerous conditions applied. The dumb thing is that these will majorly affect the Blue Wall and bite the Tories in the bum.
 
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jayah

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Notably post-COVID transport bailouts for the rest of the country have not had the same onerous conditions applied.
That is because nowhere except Luxembourg has the same insane level of taxpayer provided travel entitlements. They shouldn't get a bailout without being forced to cut their cloth.

Free off peak train travel London to Reading for over 60s on TfL Rail. There is your funding crisis.
 

Wolfie

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That is because nowhere except Luxembourg has the same insane level of taxpayer provided travel entitlements. They shouldn't get a bailout without being forced to cut their cloth.

Free off peak train travel London to Reading for over 60s on TfL Rail. There is your funding crisis.
If you stopped quoting Conservative Central Office talking points verbatim people might give your comments more credence
 

mmh

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Only from the point of view of people driving their own vehicles in central London, for which there are relatively few legitimate reasons to do so. For everyone walking and cycling, which is the majority on a lot of streets in Central London, they have an improved environment. Why should the minority take precedence over the majority?
You could argue that a congested street is better for pedestrians than a free flowing one. Makes it easier to cross. But that's academic here as Central London congestion is worse than ever, not improved.
 

kevjs

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That’s how you can tell it’s not 100% of the future. If a theory suggests something that absurd, it’s a bad theory. It is more of an age rant than it is a theory.
The 15 minute city isn't, and never has been about providing 100% of the future, it's about ensuring people living in urban areas live within 15 minutes walk of Daily Necessities - grocery stores, basic DIY materials, parks, libraries, amateur sports facilities, community centres, GP, schools, cafes, pubs, public transit, as well as employenent opportunities.

Meaning you don't need to, for example, do a one hour car trip to do the fortnightly shop (not uncommon in the US), but instead could do it every day on the way home from work, or popping out at lunch time for instance, or on the way home from school/work and in the UK getting rid of many of those car journeys under 5km.

The stuff you need less frequently - hospitals, medical specialists, pro sports stadiums, furniture shops, cultural facilities (museums, convert halls etc), nightclubs, universitys would be located on those public transit corridors.

Pretty much how much of the country was prior to the rise of mass motoring after the wars.

think you'll find that people walking and cycling are the minority, and if they have any sense they'll choose quiet side streets rather than main traffic arteries.
People walking and cycling (for transport) are wanting to get to the same places as people using transit and driving, in as short amount as possible - i.e. to destinations which are inevitably on main roads (as that's how we've spent the last 70 years building our county) and in the most direct manner so we arrive at our destinations in a timely manner - not spending three times as long by going down countless backstreets, down unlit and unpaved ginnels, stopping every 50m to turn right (across rat running traffic) and up and down steep hills (as main roads have historically tried to follow the contours of the land).
 
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Railwaysceptic

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The 15 minute city isn't, and never has been about providing 100% of the future, it's about ensuring people living in urban areas live within 15 minutes walk of Daily Necessities - grocery stores, basic DIY materials, parks, libraries, amateur sports facilities, community centres, GP, schools, cafes, pubs, public transit, as well as employenent opportunities.

Meaning you don't need to, for example, do a one hour car trip to do the fortnightly shop (not uncommon in the US), but instead could do it every day on the way home from work, or popping out at lunch time for instance, or on the way home from school/work and in the UK getting rid of many of those car journeys under 5km.

The stuff you need less frequently - hospitals, medical specialists, pro sports stadiums, furniture shops, cultural facilities (museums, convert halls etc), nightclubs, universitys would be located on those public transit corridors.

Pretty much how much of the country was prior to the rise of mass motoring after the wars.


People walking and cycling (for transport) are wanting to get to the same places as people using transit and driving, in as short amount as possible - i.e. to destinations which are inevitably on main roads (as that's how we've spent the last 70 years building our county) and in the most direct manner so we arrive at our destinations in a timely manner - not spending three times as long by going down countless backstreets, down unlit and unpaved ginnels, stopping every 50m to turn right (across rat running traffic) and up and down steep hills (as main roads have historically tried to follow the contours of the land).
You over-simplify and over-generalise massively.

Shopping everyday may be workable for many people but it will greatly inconvenience many. Some items of groceries are heavy, for example a large bag of potatoes. Elderly people and those with physical disabilities will find it onerous to lug home heavy groceries.

Your description of people walking and cycling is fanciful. First, many such trips are not to sites on main roads. For example, someone arriving at Liverpool Street walking to their office which may well be in a side street and is not somewhere numerous motorists are also heading for. Second, walking along back streets does not take three times as long, nor normally does it involve going "down unlit and unpaved ginnels, stopping every 50m to turn right (across rat running traffic) and up and down steep hills." For example, when I go to my butcher sited in the High Street, I alight at a railway station and walk about a third of a mile along three very quiet residential streets and one short public walkway.
 

AlbertBeale

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Well, the answer to that is increase the number of largely empty buses running around the capital in order to make peoples' lives much much easier. Do you ever go and watch them or travel on them. TfL buses need root and branch pruning not tinkering with a few routes.

I'm out on the streets of central London every day - cycling and/or walking and/or on a bus. I can see and experience the way that waiting times for buses and the hassle of having to make additional changes (already brought about by existing bus cuts) are reducing many people's mobility. Not to mention the poisonous air on account of the large number of cars and private hire vehicles (mini-cabs, ubers, etc) that have no place in a city like London. Every extra car on the road reduces the net mobility of the population as a whole: in cases where someone with a car is saving themselves time, it's at the expense of the majority who aren't using a car; in effect, car users in London are selfishly stealing time from the rest of us.
 

kevjs

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You over-simplify and over-generalise massively.

Shopping everyday may be workable for many people but it will greatly inconvenience many. Some items of groceries are heavy, for example a large bag of potatoes. Elderly people and those with physical disabilities will find it onerous to lug home heavy groceries.

Your description of people walking and cycling is fanciful. First, many such trips are not to sites on main roads. For example, someone arriving at Liverpool Street walking to their office which may well be in a side street and is not somewhere numerous motorists are also heading for. Second, walking along back streets does not take three times as long, nor normally does it involve going "down unlit and unpaved ginnels, stopping every 50m to turn right (across rat running traffic) and up and down steep hills." For example, when I go to my butcher sited in the High Street, I alight at a railway station and walk about a third of a mile along three very quiet residential streets and one short public walkway.
If you're able to shop every day (generally as part of your daily routine rather than a special trip) then you are buying stuff for the day, not a heavy sack of potatoes. In places like Copenhagen, Oulu, or the Netherlands where there is extensive cycling infrastructure cargo bikes and regular bikes are used by a wide variety of the population to carry larger, heavy items - and of course there is always the car or taxis for those occasions where walking and cycling don't cut it. There are also personal shopping trollies (aka granny trollies) which are able to be used when walking to or from shops - those were pretty common in recent history, and indeed were something one of my former housemates used to use (alongside a wheelie suitcase for work) as health conditions meant she couldn't drive, and she was also unable to carry anything heavy. Even for us older millennials it's just about within memory when this used to be the norm - but our cities had been so comprehensibly given over to mass motoring it was starting to drift from daily lived experience.

As a country we've spent the last 70 years building infrastructure and towns & cities around mass motoring - we've neglected the households which don't have access to car (over half of many inner city boroughs) - and even the people within those households which do have a car but are unable to drive themselves (too young, health reasons (epilepsy, visual impairments), can't afford to, their partner is using it). The whole concept of the 15 minute city is to redress this balance to ensure everyone has access to the daily necessities, Cycling is a fairly important part of this mix (as it increases the distance people are able to travel), but walking is the most important part of this mix - and the biggest deterrent to walking in our cities is the large amount of motor traffic rat running through our residential streets.

Your Liverpool Street to the office example is a perfect demonstration of what the 15 minute city enables - it's providing places which are easily accessible without people needing to drive there - in this case within easy walking distance of a mass transit station along quiet streets (or quiet possibly pedestrianised streets which motor traffic has been removed to enable that). There is no doubt many of the facilities you'd expect of a 15 minute city near the office too - shops, cafes, bars etc.

Contrary to popular belief cycling isn't just for the fit and healthy, but is open to many people who are unable to drive. Many many people are reliant on walking, public transport, or taxis, yet a The perfect demonstration of this is that there area great number of people who really should have given up driving years ago (and freely admit it - my Granddad included) but know that doing so cuts them off from friends, family and being a full part of society - but we haven't provided an alternative for them.

In places like the Netherlands where cycling and walking have been part of peoples daily lives for decades they are able to continue doing this well into old age - inactivity is one of the biggest strains on our own personal & mental health, let alone the impact this has on the NHS. Improving our walking environment benefits the majority of people, and providing good quality direct cycle facilities opens up and alternative mode where walking is too far (either physically or time) or public transport is too inconvenient.

If "many such trips aren't on main roads" why do so many people drive on main roads - it's because that's where many of there destinations are. If you are able to reach butcher using quiet residential streets you already have a small part of the 15 minute city. I'm pretty lucky and live in an area which would score highly on the 15 minute city score card, and some facilities (the local store, supermarkets) are accessible via quiet streets - others like the library require going down a couple of ginnels, but the butcher and bakery are on a main road, and require going down the main road to reach them, or a convoluted mess of back streets (with the more direct routes blocked by an old railway embankment). The reality in many of our cities is that cycle routes do go round the houses, something is is slowly changing and the government have recognised with there new design & funding guidance.

No one is suggesting that those who want, or need, to drive will be unable to do so, major supermarkets, online groceries and the like will still exist, but no longer will everyone need to drive to them on the regular basis, leaving the streets clearer and traffic moving freer for those who want/need to drive.
 

philosopher

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The 15 minute city isn't, and never has been about providing 100% of the future, it's about ensuring people living in urban areas live within 15 minutes walk of Daily Necessities - grocery stores, basic DIY materials, parks, libraries, amateur sports facilities, community centres, GP, schools, cafes, pubs, public transit, as well as employenent opportunities.

Meaning you don't need to, for example, do a one hour car trip to do the fortnightly shop (not uncommon in the US), but instead could do it every day on the way home from work, or popping out at lunch time for instance, or on the way home from school/work and in the UK getting rid of many of those car journeys under 5km.

The stuff you need less frequently - hospitals, medical specialists, pro sports stadiums, furniture shops, cultural facilities (museums, convert halls etc), nightclubs, universitys would be located on those public transit corridors.
In the case of London, I would imagine the majority of the population are within a 15 minute walk of grocery stores, parks, libraries, pubs, public transport, etc already, particularly if they live in zones 1 to 4. With regard to shopping, doing a lot of small food shopping trips instead a one big weekly or fortnightly, probably is the norm for many in London, hence why there are so many small convenience store supermarkets instead of large supermarkets in London

So it could be argued London is already doing quite well in this aspect.
 

Sonik

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In the case of London, I would imagine the majority of the population are within a 15 minute walk of grocery stores, parks, libraries, pubs, public transport, etc already, particularly if they live in zones 1 to 4. With regard to shopping, doing a lot of small food shopping trips instead a one big weekly or fortnightly, probably is the norm for many in London, hence why there are so many small convenience store supermarkets instead of large supermarkets in London

So it could be argued London is already doing quite well in this aspect.
I have relatives who lived in Zone 1 who had a very wide choice of shops within a ten minute walk; in this circumstance outside city areas many people will still drive to the shop, even for just one or two items like milk.

My observation is the key difference that makes many people in London walk to nearby shops is parking availability, for two reasons:

1) There is often no allocated parking area available at all outside shops, and heavy parking enforcement (sometimes including towing), on main roads where shopping areas are located.
2) People leave their cars at home unless really needed otherwise they may have lost their on-street parking space by the time they get back, and have to park much further from their house.

It's just easier to walk.
 
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WelshBluebird

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In the case of London, I would imagine the majority of the population are within a 15 minute walk of grocery stores, parks, libraries, pubs, public transport, etc already, particularly if they live in zones 1 to 4. With regard to shopping, doing a lot of small food shopping trips instead a one big weekly or fortnightly, probably is the norm for many in London, hence why there are so many small convenience store supermarkets instead of large supermarkets in London

So it could be argued London is already doing quite well in this aspect.
I'd be hesitant to make assumptions like that, especially in a city as large as London. Food desserts are absolutely a thing even in pretty urban areas and I would be quite surprised if there isn't at least one within London.
 

AlbertBeale

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I'd be hesitant to make assumptions like that, especially in a city as large as London. Food desserts are absolutely a thing even in pretty urban areas and I would be quite surprised if there isn't at least one within London.

Yes there are places in the London suburbs where there are hardly any facilities apart from the odd corner shop within 15 mins' walk. And certainly not all of a library, Post Office, GP, etc, as well.
 

jumble

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That is because nowhere except Luxembourg has the same insane level of taxpayer provided travel entitlements. They shouldn't get a bailout without being forced to cut their cloth.

Free off peak train travel London to Reading for over 60s on TfL Rail. There is your funding crisis.
Nope
60+ only good to West Drayton
 

jumble

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Even so, that's more free rail travel than most of the country gets. Don't expect a lot of sympathy.
I don't need sympathy thank but perhaps all the people who do not have such a pass do.
As I posted elsewhere the Greater London Authority who fund TFL trouser quite a lot from me in Council tax and I see nothing wrong in some of it being returned
 

matt_world2004

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Even so, that's more free rail travel than most of the country gets. Don't expect a lot of sympathy.
Is it? In Scarborough you can get a bus to Middlesbrough on an ENCTS pass. That is over twice the distance than a London to reading journey on a train
 

Wolfie

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Not according to TfL. Freedom Pass is Free to Reading.

The Mayor has been using transport fares as a political bribe and no way central government should be funding that.
TFL Rail Press Release
Try reading what is actually written rather than constantly spouting utter rubbish.

The elder persons Freedom Pass (the London ENCTS pensioners version, issued at state pension age) is indeed valid to Reading. The disabled Freedom Pass is also valid to Reading.

The 60+ Oyster card is only valid in London.
 
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Try reading what is actually written rather than constantly spouting utter rubbish.

The elder persons Freedom Pass (the London ENCTS pensioners version, issued at state pension age) is indeed valid to Reading. The disabled Freedom Pass is also valid to Reading.

The 60+ Oyster card is only valid in London.
Interns at Central Office don't need to read anything except the bog-standard script of "alternative facts" and blame-shifting BS they are given.

And then we get it regurgitated endlessly on here.
 

Malaxa

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Try reading what is actually written rather than constantly spouting utter rubbish.

The elder persons Freedom Pass (the London ENCTS pensioners version, issued at state pension age) is indeed valid to Reading. The disabled Freedom Pass is also valid to Reading.

The 60+ Oyster card is only valid in London.
Correct. I'm sure someone will report standing room only in the EL carriages west of West Drayton as London pensioners voyage out in their thousands to view the latest high-rise concrete spine in Reading town centre for nothing. ["for free" in modern parlance]
 

matt_world2004

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Correct. I'm sure someone will report standing room only in the EL carriages west of West Drayton as London pensioners voyage out in their thousands to view the latest high-rise concrete spine in Reading town centre for nothing. ["for free" in modern parlance]
The business case for extending the freedom pass to reading +other concessionary cards estimated a revenue loss of £200,000 per year.
 

matt_world2004

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....assuming all those journeys would have been made had the pensioners and others been required to pay.
I think it was an estimate of lost paid journeys and factored into people travelling for free who would have otherwise not travelled
 

quartile

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I don't need sympathy thank but perhaps all the people who do not have such a pass do.
As I posted elsewhere the Greater London Authority who fund TFL trouser quite a lot from me in Council tax and I see nothing wrong in some of it being returned
Council tax is still far lower in London than the rest of the uk. On top the bands haven't been revalued and London house prices have grown far more than other parts of the country.

Perhaps the TfL council tax precept should go up drastically to cover more of the running costs. It could double and still pay less than me in Hampshire for the same band. - I get no transport perks from the council and bus fares are £6 for 3 miles.
 

Railwaysceptic

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Correct. I'm sure someone will report standing room only in the EL carriages west of West Drayton as London pensioners voyage out in their thousands to view the latest high-rise concrete spine in Reading town centre for nothing. ["for free" in modern parlance]
I intend to travel to Reading using my Freedom Pass in the next few days, but it will be to look at the splendid abbey ruins, not modern high rise buildings! :D

Council tax is still far lower in London than the rest of the uk. On top the bands haven't been revalued and London house prices have grown far more than other parts of the country.

Perhaps the TfL council tax precept should go up drastically to cover more of the running costs. It could double and still pay less than me in Hampshire for the same band. - I get no transport perks from the council and bus fares are £6 for 3 miles.
So how much council tax do you pay in Hampshire?
 

Trainbike46

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Council tax is still far lower in London than the rest of the uk. On top the bands haven't been revalued and London house prices have grown far more than other parts of the country.

Perhaps the TfL council tax precept should go up drastically to cover more of the running costs. It could double and still pay less than me in Hampshire for the same band. - I get no transport perks from the council and bus fares are £6 for 3 miles.
And maybe the better question to ask would be, why is the council tax in hampshire so high? and what is it spend on?

A lot of people in this thread seem to just be complaining that TfL is too generous, but:
- before covid TfL was funded by fares and local taxes, not national government (for operating expenses)
- a larger portion of the TfL funding came from fares than almost any comparable system across the world
- central government covid funding was much more restrictive for TfL than it was for any other public transport operator across the country

The main reason TfL has financial problems is COVID. This doesn't mean it won't have to be fixed, but it definitely wasn't predictable and absolutely isn't the fault of the people in london or the mayor.

To be honest though, increasing the TfL council tax precept might be a good way to close the funding gap, alongside options such as increasing the congestion charge and ULEZ charge (either in spatial coverage or in height, or a combination of both).

It most certainly is not wrong! I live within a LTN and car trips have not "evaporated." You say "widely established." By Whom? Using what methodology?
These people in Highbury - not my neighbourhood although I used to know Highbury very well - obviously disagree
Well, there's loads of studies out there, an example would be this london-based, pre-covid study which found a decrease in car use and ownership following the introduction of LTNs, including that car usage reduced by 17 minutes a week post-LTN introduction:

https://findingspress.org/article/1...y-of-outer-london-active-travel-interventions.

There's this one that found a large reduction of car traffic within LTNs and a small reduction in car travel on roads surrounding LTNs, but this was during covid, so the results are possibly less robust: https://www.centreforlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/CFL-StreetShift-LTNs-Final.pdf

and there's this 2001 study (covering 200 cases of LTNs worldwide) that found that traffic REDUCED by on average 20%, though it notes the effects vary depending on local circumstances: https://nacto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/disappearing_traffic_cairns.pdf

And this is by no means a complete list. There is lots of evidence, from around the world, that LTNs do not generally displace car traffic, but instead evaporate it

I suspect that the number of private hire drivers working within central London has gone down since they have been obliged to pay the congestion charge. I've walked round the City twice in recent weeks and didn't notice many.
This is covered in this post already: the number of private hire drivers increased massively to just before covid:
The number of licenced private hire cars went from 49,355 in 2009/10 to 94,712 in 2019/20. That's near enough double, although it has dropped back since the pandemic.
 
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Railwaysceptic

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And maybe the better question to ask would be, why is the council tax in hampshire so high? and what is it spend on?

A lot of people in this thread seem to just be complaining that TfL is too generous, but:
- before covid TfL was funded by fares and local taxes, not national government (for operating expenses)
- a larger portion of the TfL funding came from fares than almost any comparable system across the world
- central government covid funding was much more restrictive for TfL than it was for any other public transport operator across the country

The main reason TfL has financial problems is COVID. This doesn't mean it won't have to be fixed, but it definitely wasn't predictable and absolutely isn't the fault of the people in london or the mayor.

To be honest though, increasing the TfL council tax precept might be a good way to close the funding gap, alongside options such as increasing the congestion charge and ULEZ charge (either in spatial coverage or in height, or a combination of both).


Well, there's loads of studies out there, an example would be this london-based, pre-covid study which found a decrease in car use and ownership following the introduction of LTNs, including that car usage reduced by 17 minutes a week post-LTN introduction:

https://findingspress.org/article/1...y-of-outer-london-active-travel-interventions.

There's this one that found a large reduction of car traffic within LTNs and a small reduction in car travel on roads surrounding LTNs, but this was during covid, so the results are possibly less robust: https://www.centreforlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/CFL-StreetShift-LTNs-Final.pdf

and there's this 2001 study (covering 200 cases of LTNs worldwide) that found that traffic REDUCED by on average 20%, though it notes the effects vary depending on local circumstances: https://nacto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/disappearing_traffic_cairns.pdf

And this is by no means a complete list. There is lots of evidence, from around the world, that LTNs do not generally displace car traffic, but instead evaporate it


This is covered in this post already: the number of private hire drivers increased massively to just before covid:
Even I, an arch critic of our current Mayor, admit that the financial damage done by Covid dwarfs everything else. I accept that increasing council tax may be the best way to bridge the gap for the next few years. This is a London problem and the burden should be shared out equally. I don't think that motorists specifically should have to pay extra because they did not cause the problem.
 
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Snow1964

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A good post. Even I, an arch critic of our current Mayor, admit that the financial damage done by Covid dwarfs everything else. I accept that increasing council tax may be the best way to bridge the gap for the next few years. This is a London problem and the burden should be shared out equally. I don't think that motorists specifically should have to pay extra because they did not cause the problem.

The mayor has always been bit ham fisted with his levies, as an example I think he added a Crossrail levy to places like Kingston and Sutton (which it goes nowhere near) at same rates as Ealing or Tower Hamlets (which it serves). When I lived in Kingston they had even added one for Maidenhead flood relief scheme !
 

SynthD

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A lot of people in this thread seem to just be complaining that TfL is too generous, but:
- before covid TfL was funded by fares and local taxes, not national government (for operating expenses)
- a larger portion of the TfL funding came from fares than almost any comparable system across the world
- central government covid funding was much more restrictive for TfL than it was for any other public transport operator across the country

The main reason TfL has financial problems is COVID. This doesn't mean it won't have to be fixed, but it definitely wasn't predictable and absolutely isn't the fault of the people in london or the mayor.
I agree with your whole post and conclusion. But I'll add that before covid, TfL was struggling to cope with those three points being recently introduced. It may not have been in good long term health.
The mayor has always been bit ham fisted with his levies, as an example I think he added a Crossrail levy to places like Kingston and Sutton (which it goes nowhere near) at same rates as Ealing or Tower Hamlets (which it serves). When I lived in Kingston they had even added one for Maidenhead flood relief scheme !
Is a city wide levy capable of being ham fisted? Is this just standard use of the tools of the role?
 
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