What are the implications of a ‘managed decline’ for TfL?

What are the implications of a ‘managed decline’ for TfL?

“The truth is you could sack the entire admin staff of TfL and not cure the deficit. The cost is not people in offices. If underground track costs £1m a mile and underground drivers get paid £55,000 a year, then someone has to pay,” he said.

It is claimed that pre-pandemic TfL’s bus network lost around £750m a year, while the underground broke even.

“The yield on the bus network was about 84p per journey and frankly, you can’t pay a bus driver £40,000 a year and you can’t buy a new bus for £350,000, you can’t have London real estate to park them and then pay for it all from 84p a journey. It’s not enough. Someone has to pay. It’s either the farepayer or the taxpayer. You can have an argument about where it sits but the answer is not advertising or property or sacking the cleaner,” Daniels added.

Daniels said that every 20 or so years, the taxpayer versus farepayer argument comes to a head. “You can trace that cycle back to 1933. It is either higher fares or higher taxes. But both of these options are political suicides,” he said. “This is about one thing: who is going to pay. It’s either the passenger, taxpayer or a blend of the two.” 

Manchester pushes for more government funding ahead of Clean Air Zone roll-out

Another region pressing the central government for further funding is Manchester, with a Clean Air Zone set to be introduced in phases from May. 

However, the Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee – which is made up of the 10 councils in the city – called on the government to launch a review, as well as to pause and review the current financial help, amid fears businesses may not be able to source or afford vehicles that meet the requirements of the CAZ. 

According to the group, global vehicle supply chain issues, rising inflation and post-Covid economic recovery were making it difficult for businesses to source greener vehicles.

The government has already committed £120m worth of funding to help people upgrade from non-compliant commercial vehicles, but Transport for Greater Manchester said the government did agree to funding a £10m hardship package, which would have helped those who need support most.