Keith Prince AM: Mayor's incompetence costing dearly
There is no end in sight for Transport for London’s financial woes while Sadiq Khan’s incompetent management continues.
Despite receiving £3.3 billion in two TfL bailouts already this year, Khan needed a third for Crossrail. The ever-delayed project was at risk of being mothballed without another cash injection. So for the third time this year, the Government has stepped in to help, providing an £825 million bailout for the Elizabeth Line.
Londoners will be disappointed, but not surprised, that Khan needed yet another bailout for Crossrail. The vital project was on time and budget when the Mayor came into office. Now, it's nearly £4 billion over budget and more than three years late.
Shockingly, despite demanding repeated bailouts, Khan's incompetence is continuing to cost Londoners dearly. The most recent example was the revelation that Crossrail is paying millions of pounds for train drivers for the incomplete section of the railway, 18 months before it is expected to open with little to do.
This is the latest in a long line of expensive policy decisions by the Mayor which have broken the bank at TfL. Khan's irresponsible fares freeze cost £640 million in lost revenue. He's protected its staff perks which cost £44 million a year. And TfL's bill for staff working on trade union duties has almost doubled on his watch.
Unless the Mayor starts to competently manage London's transport network and cut his waste, TfL's finances will never be back on track and we'll never get Crossrail done.
Article by Keith Prince AM first published in the Ilford Recorder.