Sadiq Khan should suspend £12m of planned bonuses to Transport for London (TfL) chiefs in the wake of concerns over the body’s financial position, according to the City Hall caucus of Conservatives.
Susan Hall, the leader of the Tories in the London Assembly, said the mayor needs to “get a grip of [TfL’s] wasteful spending” after the mayor this week threatened to suspend an entire Tube line if the government does not provide new funding for the transport body.
TfL has received four bailouts since the start of the pandemic, which saw its revenues fall off a cliff, with the latest set to run out on 11 December.
Khan has warned that without a sustainable new funding package from government that services would have to be cut dramatically and that he would have to see a “managed decline” of the transport network.
The funding shortfall over the next few years is more than £6bn, TfL estimates.
Hall said she would table a motion today in the London Assembly to urge Khan to suspend TfL’s planned bonuses, adding that the mayor needed to make more difficult decisions in funding talks with central government.
“The mayor is reluctant to make any savings to get the capital’s transport network back on track,” she said.
“It’s unfair to ask Londoners or UK taxpayers to fork out for TfL’s gold-plated pensions, staff perks, and excessive bonuses. The government wants to keep London moving, but it won’t let taxpayers’ cash go to waste.
“TfL’s plan to award £12 million in bonuses next year while the mayor is warning about service cuts shows Khan is negotiating in bad faith. If he scrapped executive hand-outs, it would boost London’s case in the bailout talks.”
A report from TfL earlier this month said there will be a £6.6bn black hole in its finances between 2022 and 2055, after its revenues were £1.2bn below expectations this year.
Khan said at an event on Tuesday that formal negotiations have not even begun with the Department for Transport over a new deal, despite the current one running out in less than two weeks.
“This unprecedented financial crisis facing TfL could have such far-reaching consequences,” he said.
“It won’t be long before London itself will no longer have London-style transport services. We will be forced to move into ‘managed decline’ leading to rundown services reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s.
“Bus services would have to be reduced by almost a fifth. Tube services would need to be cut by nearly 10 per cent. In practice this could mean over 100 bus routes being withdrawn and the full closure of a whole Tube line.”