Stop bickering and sort out London’s transport, say business leaders to Sadiq Khan and Grant Shapps


Dozens of top names including the bosses of Canary Wharf, Arcadis,  the ExCeL and the New West End Company signed a joint letter to the Mayor and the Transport Secretary demanding: “Now is the time for action.”

Calling on all sides to “come together” to devise long-term and sustainable transport solutions, the letter signed by 37 chief executives and co-ordinated by lobbying group London First warns that the stakes are too high to delay. “London does not work without public transport. And the UK cannot work without London,” they say.

The essential first step, they argue, is to continue an emergency funding deal, and then sit down to devise an entirely new transport strategy that can cope with post-pandemic working changes, the rise of ride-hailing apps and the need to cut London’s carbon emissions.

The business leaders suggest they are not opposed to new charges or different fares, saying: “We know that there is no low hanging fruit and many beneficiaries of London’s transport network – from passengers and road users to residents and businesses – will be expected to contribute in different ways.”

They say the pandemic “has broken an already strained funding model” and improvements over the past 20 years could be lost without action.  “TfL needs a funding model that is based on the future needs of the city; not just a patching up of the pre-pandemic settlement.

AP

Both the Mayor’s office and the Department for Transport responded with assurances that they were ready to work together in future.

A spokesman for the Mayor said: “This pandemic has been devastating for TfL’s finances. Securing a long-term funding settlement for the capital’s transport network is not only vital for London’s businesses and our prosperity, but will be a key driver in the recovery of the UK economy. 



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