‘Kick in the teeth’: Maida Vale-based London Assembly member criticises government’s TfL bailout

Murad Qureshi, from Maida Vale, has called the TfL bailout "punitive". Picture: Dieter Perry

Murad Qureshi, from Maida Vale, has called the TfL bailout "punitive". Picture: Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

The government’s bailout of TfL will “hit the capital’s poorest the hardest”, says London Assembly member Murad Qureshi.

The Maida Vale-based politician’s comments follow Whitehall agreeing a £1.6 billion deal last week with TfL which is facing a 90 per cent fall in income from Covid-19 lockdown.

The Londonwide Labour representative said fare rises and changes to the Freedom Pass were a “gratuitous kick in the teeth” as part of a “punitive and “damaging” deal.

Mr Qureshi said: “This will hit some of the poorest in our capital the hardest.

“It is also nonsensical that Londoners have been effectively singled out and punished in this way, after doing the right thing and staying at home and away from public transport to contain the virus.

“The Government needs to own up to the fact that where they could have helped TfL back on track to recovery, they have inflicted unnecessary pain and uncertainty.

“They must go back to the drawing board and reconsider this decision”.

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Under the terms of the bailout, congestion charge will rise by 30%, free travel for children will be temporarily halted and over-60s will have to pay to travel during peak times. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the bailout “wasn’t the deal he wanted”.

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