Sadiq Khan is requesting more than £29bn from central government during its spending review, including £5.65bn for Transport for London (TfL) over the next 18 months.
Khan submitted his requests to Rishi Sunak’s spending review yesterday, which included requests for an extra £20.5bn to build affordable homes, £1bn for new electric buses, a £1.5bn national “clean air fund” and a long-term TfL funding agreement.
The chancellor’s spending review will look at what capital projects the government plans to invest in, with much of the spending expected to be concentrated in the North and the Midlands.
Boris Johnson promised as a part of his election winning manifesto that he would “level up” economically deprived parts of the nation by investing more in infrastructure in these regions.
However, Khan said London would “power the UK’s economic recovery through this pandemic” and should be prioritised in the spending review.
The London mayor wants a funding settlement for TfL of at least £5.65bn over the next 18 months, with £750m of this earmarked for Crossrail, after the transport body was given a £1.6bn government bailout earlier this year.
The network’s revenues fell by more than 90 per cent during the lockdown and passenger numbers are still far below normal levels.
The mayor also wants guarantees of future funding for TfL projects such as Crossrail 2 and the Bakerloo line extension.
Other big ticket items include an “increase in London’s £4bn allocation of the next Affordable Homes Programme”, with City Hall calculating it needs a further £20.5bn between 2021 and 2026 to hit its target of delivering 32,500 affordable homes a year.
City Hall’s submission also asks for “the creation of a national £1.5 billion Clean Air Fund that will enable cities to fairly implement Clean Air Zones and tackle emissions, including through vehicle scrappage and retrofit schemes”.
“With London accounting for a quarter of the UK’s economic output, the Government’s approach of starving the capital of investment will do nothing more than hamper the UK’s economic recovery from Covid as a whole,” Khan said.
“The fact is the country needs a successful London.”