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Author Topic: £1.6bn bailout for Transport for London. 14th May 2020  (Read 2443 times)
bignosemac
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« 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

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bradshaw
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« Reply #1 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/

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Celestial
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« Reply #2 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.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 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
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #4 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?
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Electric train
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« Reply #5 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
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 10:08:15 am »

The re-starting of the Congestion Charge next week, any connection to the loan?
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2020, 11:20:53 am »

From Rail Advent

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

From Sky News

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?
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2020, 11:26:38 am »

It would seem I am not the only one asking - Dave Hill from On London

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] ...
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2020, 01:13:18 pm »

It would seem I am not the only one asking - Dave Hill from On London

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?
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REVUpminster
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2020, 03:52:43 pm »

From Rail Advent

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

From Sky News

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.
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grahame
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« Reply #11 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.
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grahame
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« Reply #12 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.

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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #13 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!  Smiley
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grahame
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2020, 05:11:02 pm »

That's a "No" then!  Smiley

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.
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