Great Western Coffee Shop

Journey by Journey => Transport for London => Topic started by: bignosemac on May 14, 2020, 07:43:26 pm



Title: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: bignosemac on May 14, 2020, 07:43:26 pm
A £1.6 billion government bailout has just been announced tonight.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the money was needed tonight to avoid the system running out of cash. Essentially going bankrupt. £1.1bn is a direct grant from HMG. £500 million will be a loan.

I'm suspect this news won't go down well in the shires. Or the other metropolitan areas.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-london-52670539



Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: bradshaw on May 14, 2020, 08:20:36 pm
This article gives a good background.

https://www.londonreconnections.com/2020/tfl-the-impossible-finances-of-fighting-a-pandemic/



Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: Celestial on May 14, 2020, 09:07:28 pm

I'm suspect this news won't go down well in the shires. Or the other metropolitan areas.

I'm not sure how it is any different to the effective subsidy given to the rest of the rail network, or regional bus services, or many other aspects of public service which are deemed essential but which have suddenly seen a massive shortfall in income, increase in costs or both. And Shapps appears to have played it tough on the grounds that if fares hadn't been frozen there would have been a bit more money in the kitty (actually it would probably have been spent on some of the enhancement projects that the Mayor has had to defer or cancel), so £500m is only a loan.


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on May 15, 2020, 06:55:31 am

I'm suspect this news won't go down well in the shires. Or the other metropolitan areas.

I'm not sure how it is any different to the effective subsidy given to the rest of the rail network, or regional bus services, or many other aspects of public service which are deemed essential but which have suddenly seen a massive shortfall in income, increase in costs or both. And Shapps appears to have played it tough on the grounds that if fares hadn't been frozen there would have been a bit more money in the kitty (actually it would probably have been spent on some of the enhancement projects that the Mayor has had to defer or cancel), so £500m is only a loan.

It will be very ... interesting ... as we go on to find ...
... what was loans and what was grants of the "emergency measures"
... which of them were re-announcements of existing funding
... which future (announced) projects will be dropped because funding is no longer available


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 15, 2020, 08:29:59 am
These are not normal times.

If £100 billion + (and counting) can be found for a vanity project like HS2 which is looking increasingly less viable/justifiable with every day that goes by in normal circumstances, I'm sure that less than 1% of that figure can be found to keep London (and many of the "Shires" which feed into it) moving in an emergency?


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: Electric train on May 16, 2020, 07:44:03 am
This will be the political football in a years time when the postponed London Manorial election take place


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: CyclingSid on May 16, 2020, 10:08:15 am
The re-starting of the Congestion Charge next week, any connection to the loan?


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on May 17, 2020, 11:20:53 am
From Rail Advent (https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2020/05/fares-to-increase-and-free-travel-for-children-axed-as-transport-for-london-agree-1-6-billion-bailout.html)

Quote
Fares to increase and free travel for children axed as Transport for London agree £1.6 BILLION bailout

From Sky News (https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-londons-congestion-charge-to-rise-30-next-month-after-huge-tfl-bailout-11988726)

Quote
London's congestion charge to rise 30% next month after huge TfL bailout

In answer to the question about all the extra costs on Transport for London - "Ooze gonna pay for it?", then answer seems to be "the travelling public" to a very great extent.

Free travel for children and generous extension of senior bus passes were a good socialist idea, and making the loan conditional on those schemes being pulled back seems (on the face of it) a great capitalist way to turn the balance back.   Or have I missed something?


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on May 17, 2020, 11:26:38 am
It would seem I am not the only one asking - Dave Hill from On London (https://www.onlondon.co.uk/dave-hill-governments-tfl-power-grab-is-the-wrong-direction-of-travel/)

Quote
Government’s TfL power grab is the wrong direction of travel

Having lost control of its capital, a besieged national government has decided to invade. The pretext is Transport for London’s desperate need for money, the motive is to suppress Sadiq Khan. Strings attached to the £1.6 billion rescue package – of which £505 million is a loan – include fares increases beyond the modest and selective ones Sadiq Khan signalled in mid-March, an insistence (apparently) that the Mayor’s preferred “stay at home” advice be replaced at Tube stations by the Prime Minister’s wartime motto “stay alert”, and government officials joining TfL’s board.

A paragraph from TfL’s note to the stock exchange defines the new regime in coded terms: “During the period in which the Funding Package is being provided to TfL, appropriate governance and oversight arrangements will be put in place, allowing the parties to work closely together.” You will adopt our values. You will speak our language. We ask the questions. We give the orders around here.

Forgive the exaggeration for effect, but also be under no illusions about what’s happened here. ....[continues] ...


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 17, 2020, 01:13:18 pm
It would seem I am not the only one asking - Dave Hill from On London (https://www.onlondon.co.uk/dave-hill-governments-tfl-power-grab-is-the-wrong-direction-of-travel/)

Quote
Government’s TfL power grab is the wrong direction of travel

Having lost control of its capital, a besieged national government has decided to invade. The pretext is Transport for London’s desperate need for money, the motive is to suppress Sadiq Khan. Strings attached to the £1.6 billion rescue package – of which £505 million is a loan – include fares increases beyond the modest and selective ones Sadiq Khan signalled in mid-March, an insistence (apparently) that the Mayor’s preferred “stay at home” advice be replaced at Tube stations by the Prime Minister’s wartime motto “stay alert”, and government officials joining TfL’s board.

A paragraph from TfL’s note to the stock exchange defines the new regime in coded terms: “During the period in which the Funding Package is being provided to TfL, appropriate governance and oversight arrangements will be put in place, allowing the parties to work closely together.” You will adopt our values. You will speak our language. We ask the questions. We give the orders around here.

Forgive the exaggeration for effect, but also be under no illusions about what’s happened here. ....[continues] ...

Do you have an alternative suggestion  to bailing TfL out Graham?


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: REVUpminster on May 17, 2020, 03:52:43 pm
From Rail Advent (https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2020/05/fares-to-increase-and-free-travel-for-children-axed-as-transport-for-london-agree-1-6-billion-bailout.html)

Quote
Fares to increase and free travel for children axed as Transport for London agree £1.6 BILLION bailout

From Sky News (https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-londons-congestion-charge-to-rise-30-next-month-after-huge-tfl-bailout-11988726)

Quote
London's congestion charge to rise 30% next month after huge TfL bailout

In answer to the question about all the extra costs on Transport for London - "Ooze gonna pay for it?", then answer seems to be "the travelling public" to a very great extent.

Free travel for children and generous extension of senior bus passes were a good socialist idea, and making the loan conditional on those schemes being pulled back seems (on the face of it) a great capitalist way to turn the balance back.   Or have I missed something?

Was it a socialist idea? Back in the day of the GLC changing every election between Conservative and Labour by giving pensioners more and more. In fact by the time I retired from LU keeping my retired staff pass, the Freedom Pass for pensioners was available on more services. Boris even got in on the act by introducing a 60-65 pass when the women's pension age began to rise.

Where I am now the bus pass is what it says not before 9.30 although during the lockdown the time restriction has been lifted but there are less buses and nowhere to go.


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on May 17, 2020, 03:53:13 pm
Do you have an alternative suggestion  to bailing TfL out Graham?

I've started a discussion.  

Whether fare rises, congestion charge rises, and removal of concessions is the best way forward is to a very great extent a political choice - for London as it will be for the rest of the country. Historically, UK public transport has been far more funded from the fare box and far less by general taxation than elsewhere in Europe, and there's a school of thought that suggests the UK ratios should move to towards the European ratio to encourage the use of public transport rather than private cars. That for the good of relieving congestion, clean air and climate change - helped by an increase in passenger numbers not leading to a proportional increase in operating costs which will help drive the cost per journey down - sort of "quantity discount".

There is going to be a need to encourage people back to public transport ... it would be a missed opportunity if that was seriously spiked by price rises, with (ironically) public transport becoming the poor man's transport.


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on May 17, 2020, 04:22:25 pm
Was it a socialist idea? Back in the day of the GLC changing every election between Conservaive and Labour by giving pensioners more and more. In fact by the time I retired from LU keeping my retired staff pass, the Freedom Pass for pensioners was available on more services. Boris even got in on the act by introducing a 60-65 pass when the women's pension age began to rise.

Where I am now the bus pass is what it says not before 9.30 although during the lockdown the time restriction has been lifted but there are less buses and nowhere to go.

I think I partly answered in the post I was writing at the same time you wrote yours.

To add ... I got my bus pass earlier this month, with a covering letter that says 09:30 but I happen to know will be accepted at any time locally at the moment, but I'm not a key worker nor essential traveller for other reasons so I'll leave them to it.   

In any case, the service has gone crap.   Delighted that the Melksham to Bath service has increased from every 2 hours to every hour.  A year ago there were no fewer than 4 services per hour past Melksham Hospital (and our home) which was, frankly, twice what was needed. However, the emergency timetable sends the hourly bus that's left another way around the town, leaving just 5 journeys on the Town Bus at the Hospital and our road per day ... with 4 out of 5 of them arriving in the Market Place at 1 minute past the hour, with the Bath bus leaving at 58 minutes past.   Classic example of where "network thinking" would be appreciated.  Needless to say, different bus operators!

P.S. The time in the hour of the Bath bus has changed too ... last week the connection was "only" 37 minutes to wait in the Market place rather than 57.



Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 17, 2020, 04:52:00 pm
Do you have an alternative suggestion  to bailing TfL out Graham?

I've started a discussion.  

Whether fare rises, congestion charge rises, and removal of concessions is the best way forward is to a very great extent a political choice - for London as it will be for the rest of the country. Historically, UK public transport has been far more funded from the fare box and far less by general taxation than elsewhere in Europe, and there's a school of thought that suggests the UK ratios should move to towards the European ratio to encourage the use of public transport rather than private cars. That for the good of relieving congestion, clean air and climate change - helped by an increase in passenger numbers not leading to a proportional increase in operating costs which will help drive the cost per journey down - sort of "quantity discount".

There is going to be a need to encourage people back to public transport ... it would be a missed opportunity if that was seriously spiked by price rises, with (ironically) public transport becoming the poor man's transport.

That's a "No" then!  :)


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on May 17, 2020, 05:11:02 pm
That's a "No" then!  :)

It isn't. I think you missed the suggestion that a higher proportion of public transport costs could be met out of general taxation.

What I have NOT done is to say whether I think that fare box increases or general taxation (or something else such as local government taxation or wider congestion charge aerate raise more money that way) is the best way forward.  But I have suggested that it appears that fare box increases partly via cutting concessions may have been decided on ... and flagged up that public transport fare rises may be coming in on the "so much going on it won't make too much of a storm" or "we have TfL over a barrel and can take over their policy direction" principles.

Wider comment - already made elsewhere - "if the peak is no longer such a big peak, why have differential fares" argument. With the big question as to whether the resultant single tier would be at the current Anytime level or the current Off Peak level.


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on July 20, 2020, 10:36:22 pm
From The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jul/20/government-opening-door-to-privatising-london-underground-says-union)

Quote
The RMT trade union has accused the government of opening the door to privatising the tube after it was revealed that a review of Transport for London’s finances would consider “alternative operating models”.

According to the the terms of reference published on Monday, the review – imposed as part of a £1.6bn Covid-19 bailout package for London – will explore “whether there are any opportunities that alternative operating models could bring over the longer term, including consideration of structures and governance”.


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on October 16, 2020, 08:43:18 pm
From My  London (https://www.mylondon.news/lifestyle/travel/free-london-underground-bus-travel-19115250)

Quote
Transport for London (TfL) and the Government are in talks regarding funding for the future of the city's public transport system - and there could be some consequences that hit many Londoners in the pocket.

Sky News has learnt that the price of a new bailout for TfL could be an extension of London's congestion charge zone, plus the removal of remaining free travel entitlements for children and pensioners.

The coronavirus pandemic has left TfL in dire straits with lost revenues across all transport networks due to vast drops in passenger numbers.

Now Sky News is reporting that government ministers have told TfL, that it will have to "introduce the reforms if it is to secure a bailout package ahead of a funding deadline in the coming days."

The Mail (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8847025/London-Tube-train-bus-staff-told-prepare-total-SHUTDOWN.html) goes further ...

Quote
The Government has agreed to extend its financial support of Transport for London (TfL) for two weeks while negotiations on a new bailout continue.

Ministers are demanding that London's congestion charge zone is extended and free travel entitlements for children and older people are downgraded in return for what would reportedly be a ?1 billion package.

Earlier today, Sadiq Khan was accused of 'playing games' after claiming that ministers are demanding he extends the congestion zone to get a ?1billion bailout.

The London mayor faced fury over suggestions that the government had made the move a condition of the latest extraordinary cash injection to keep Transport for London from grinding to a halt, amid fears that could happen as early as this weekend. 

After the latest agreement, Deputy mayor of London Heidi Alexander said there remain 'differences to resolve' between both sides, and expressed hope that 'cooler heads can prevail over the next 14 days'.

She told a meeting of TfL's finance committee: 'Neither the mayor or I can see how it would be right to charge people ?15 to drive a mile from Wandsworth to Clapham, or from Catford to Lewisham, from October next year if the congestion charge was to be extended out to the North and South Circular.

'That is in effect what the Government have said to us that they want.

'We can't see why we should take free travel away from under 18s or over 60s when lots of people in London are actually facing some genuine hardship over the coming months.'


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: Electric train on October 17, 2020, 08:43:32 am
From My  London (https://www.mylondon.news/lifestyle/travel/free-london-underground-bus-travel-19115250)

Quote
Transport for London (TfL) and the Government are in talks regarding funding for the future of the city's public transport system - and there could be some consequences that hit many Londoners in the pocket.

Sky News has learnt that the price of a new bailout for TfL could be an extension of London's congestion charge zone, plus the removal of remaining free travel entitlements for children and pensioners.

The coronavirus pandemic has left TfL in dire straits with lost revenues across all transport networks due to vast drops in passenger numbers.

Now Sky News is reporting that government ministers have told TfL, that it will have to "introduce the reforms if it is to secure a bailout package ahead of a funding deadline in the coming days."

The Mail (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8847025/London-Tube-train-bus-staff-told-prepare-total-SHUTDOWN.html) goes further ...

Quote
The Government has agreed to extend its financial support of Transport for London (TfL) for two weeks while negotiations on a new bailout continue.

Ministers are demanding that London's congestion charge zone is extended and free travel entitlements for children and older people are downgraded in return for what would reportedly be a ?1 billion package.

Earlier today, Sadiq Khan was accused of 'playing games' after claiming that ministers are demanding he extends the congestion zone to get a ?1billion bailout.

The London mayor faced fury over suggestions that the government had made the move a condition of the latest extraordinary cash injection to keep Transport for London from grinding to a halt, amid fears that could happen as early as this weekend. 

After the latest agreement, Deputy mayor of London Heidi Alexander said there remain 'differences to resolve' between both sides, and expressed hope that 'cooler heads can prevail over the next 14 days'.

She told a meeting of TfL's finance committee: 'Neither the mayor or I can see how it would be right to charge people ?15 to drive a mile from Wandsworth to Clapham, or from Catford to Lewisham, from October next year if the congestion charge was to be extended out to the North and South Circular.

'That is in effect what the Government have said to us that they want.

'We can't see why we should take free travel away from under 18s or over 60s when lots of people in London are actually facing some genuine hardship over the coming months.'

There is a bigger game afoot than keeping TfL running ..................

Its the postponed Mayor for London election due in May 2021, the Government want to pain the Mayor as the "Milk Snatcher" ** taking away the free travel for school children, ramping up the cost of taking kids to school by car and costs of doing business in London by increasing the congestion charge.  But at the same time painting HMG as the knights in white armour rescuing public transport in London.


** Milk snatcher https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/margaret-thatcher-regretted-snatching-milk-school-children-two-decades-a7500171.html


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: ellendune on October 17, 2020, 09:11:05 am
With a good campaign that could come back to bite the tory candidate if Sadiq Kahn manages to put the blame where it truly lies it would be seen as the intended policy of his tory opponent.


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: broadgage on October 22, 2020, 02:24:05 pm
I am not convinced that children should get free travel, they have to pay in most places other than London.
Neither in my view do they need driving to school. Walking, cycling, and use of paid for public transport are reasonable alternatives in most cases in London.


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on October 29, 2020, 11:41:41 am
From Rail News (https://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2020/10/29-government-under-fire-as-tfl.html)

Quote
Time is running out for a decision on TfL funding, with the deadline now barely 48 hours away for the Government to decide what it will require the Mayor to do in return for further financial support. Passenger revenues appear to be in danger of slumping again in response to new Tier 2 restrictions.

In return for help, the Government wants TfL to move ahead with developing driverless trains, increasing fares and the congestion charge, and reducing travel concessions.


Title: Re: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020
Post by: grahame on November 01, 2020, 11:14:21 am
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-54768723

Quote
Transport for London (TfL) has secured a ?1.8bn government bailout, to keep Tube and bus services running until March 2021.

The funding will ensure TfL can address its financial shortfall due to the loss of passengers as a result of Covid-19.

The exact amount of money involved is subject to passenger revenue in the coming months.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the deal was "not ideal" but the government said it was "proof of our commitment".

Mr Khan said he fought hard against the "very worst" proposals, adding: "The only reason TfL needs government support is because its fares income has almost dried up since March."

Without a bailout the network would be forced to issue a Section 114 order, the equivalent of bankruptcy for a public company.

Discussions on longer-term sustainable funding continue, TfL said.

from further down the article ....



Quote
Both sides are declaring an element of victory in a negotiation that went down to the wire.

The mayor is pleased he has seen off an extension to the congestion charging zone but - and this is crucial - the government is pleased concessions for over 60s and under 18s will have to be paid for in the future by City Hall.

That could mean an increase in council tax. And don't forget fares will now be going up in January by inflation plus 1%.

and

Quote
"The mayor has pledged that national taxpayers will not pay for benefits for Londoners that they do not get themselves elsewhere in the country."


Hmmm ... there are those who might argue that better travel concessions for over 60s and under 18s should be universally available across the UK to help encourage the use of public transport - with one eye to climate issues, another to congestion and a third to rebuilding the use of public transport.  Far from limiting London, should the government be helping the provinces do the same?

Also noting the comment about fares ... I guess that there has been so much provaroaction on the fares review, Williams and the various ideas such as part time seasons and carnets that it's not too late to do anything in January except put the fares up more or less across the board?



This page is printed from the "Coffee Shop" forum at http://gwr.passenger.chat which is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway. Views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that content provided contravenes our posting rules ( see http://railcustomer.info/1761 ). The forum is hosted by Well House Consultants - http://www.wellho.net