In a move perceived as a desperate attempt to secure votes ahead of the impending mayoral election, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a freeze on all Transport for London (TfL) fares until March 2025.
This decision, covering the TfL network, was called a ‘bold move’ by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who suggested it was a measure which would save commuters up to £90 annually amid a ‘cost-of-living crisis’.
Critics, including Conservative Party Candidate for the Mayor of London, Susan Hall, slammed this announcement, alleging that Sadiq Khan was attempting to use this last-minute fare freeze as a political lifeline.
Leader of the Conservative group at the London Assembly, Neil Garratt accused Sadiq Khan of “trying to buy the votes of Londoners” with a ‘temporary’ fare freeze.
Sadiq Khan last froze the fares on the TfL network from 2016 to 2021, which was seen as one of the major factors in TfL’s bankruptcy, causing the Government to bail it out to the tune of over £ 6 billion.
Susan Hall, who is critical of Khan’s financial management during his mayoralty, suggested that Londoners will ultimately bear the financial burden through increased Council Tax, the expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and a new mileage-based tax – dubbed ‘pay-per-mile’.
Recently, Conservative Assembly Members have uncovered ‘Project Detroit’, organised by the Mayor, to develop the technology to bring this pay-per-mile scheme in.
She dismissed Khan’s claims of affordability, asserting that the Mayor’s supposed generosity is nothing more than a pre-election gimmick.
“Sadiq Khan expects us to believe in his fake, magic money tree promises.” Hall declared, emphasizing her commitment to providing an alternative leadership that prioritizes fiscal responsibility.
The Conservative Party candidate vowed to address Londoner’s concerns, promising to make the streets safer, halt the proposed pay-per-mile scheme, scrap the ULEZ expansion on day one, and chart a course for a more secure and prosperous future for the city.
Her criticism of Sadiq Khan was echoed by the City Hall Conservatives who said that “When it comes to money, you really can’t trust anything Sadiq Khan says”, accusing him of finding a “£123 million magic money tree” just ahead of the election in May.
Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections take place every four years. The last elections took place in May 2021. The next Mayoral and London Assembly elections will take place on Thursday 2 May 2024.