Tuesday 15 September 2020 5:38 pm

Tory mayoral candidate Bailey hits out at Khan over TfL delays

Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has accused London mayor Sadiq Khan of “failing to deliver reliable transport” in the capital, as public transport delays across the latter’s tenure continued to rise.

Khan, who is also responsible for monitoring Transport for London’s (TfL) performance in his role as mayor, launched an independent review of body’s future funding and finances in July.

“In the last five years, over 135m passenger hours have been lost due to delays, cancellations and a lack of investment in our transport infrastructure costing the London economy almost £1m per day,” said Bailey.

Read more: Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey closes gap to Sadiq Khan

Bailey’s team said data from TfL showed the body reported 41m so-called lost passenger hours — a measure used as an indication of the direct impact on passengers when service is disrupted — in 2019/20, with the data stopping before lockdown began.

This represented a rise of 55 per cent on figures from Khan’s first year in office. Meanwhile between Boris Johnson’s first and last years in office as London mayor before Khan, lost passenger hours decreased by 28 per cent from 36m to 26m.

Each hour lost equates to £8.42 in lost economic activity, meaning the 41.1m hours lost in 2019 cost the economy a total of £346m, Bailey claimed.

“This is unacceptable. London needs a transport network fit for a global city. And it’s the mayor’s job to deliver it,” he said.

“Instead of blaming the government, Sadiq Khan needs to cut waste at TfL, invest in long-term projects, and live up to the responsibilities of his job.”

Read more: Hammersmith Bridge: Government thinks TfL inflated £140m repair estimate

A London Labour spokesperson said: “This so-called analysis is nonsense.”

“Rather than producing dubious reports Shaun Bailey should lobby his Tory government to give TfL a fair funding deal that will ensure London’s public transport network is in a strong position to support the city’s recovery.”

The figures come as internal Conservative polling data, seen by the Sunday Telegraph, this week revealed Bailey was closing the gap on Khan ahead of the mayoral election next year.

The private polling is said to show Khan is leading Bailey by 42 per cent to 35 per cent on first preference voting, with Khan winning on the second round of voting with 55 per cent, compared to 45 per cent for Bailey.

The numbers came as a great surprise for City Hall as Khan has consistently had a large lead over Bailey in polling, including in new YouGov figures released last Friday.

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