Sadiq Khan has rejected Boris Johnson’s offer of a £1billion bailout for London’s struggling transport network. The London Mayor has said that Government’s offer on the table is not good enough, and he “wouldn’t support” it. Coronavirus has seen Transport for London (TfL) plunge into a financial blackhole with transport use crashing by 90 percent.
It is understood that the Government attached conditions to its £1billion TfL bailout, including a fare hike and free travel being taken away from the under-18s and pensioners.
Sadiq Khan also revealed that ministers are demanding he agrees to extend congestion zone into London suburbs.
Speaking to LBC, Mr Khan vented his frustration that a deal has not been reached.
He said: “I don’t think you should punish Londoners for doing the right thing or adding conditions to us that you don’t attach to others.”
He added: “I’ve been quite clear, taking away free travel for the under-18s is not something that I would support and so its really important that the government works with us, its in both of out interests to get TfL running.”
The need for cash comes as the previous grant, issued in May, ran out this weekend.
However, the Government provided an 11th hour bailout that will keep trains, tubes and buses running for another two weeks while talks continue.
Mr Khan continued: “I’m annoyed that it’s taken us until this week to get into proper negotiations.
LBC listeners remarked that Mr Khan was trying to “copy” Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham who is currently involved in a different stand-off with Downing Street over Tier 3 restrictions.
One tweeted: “Will Sadiq do a Burnham?”
Another added: “Andy Burnham has demanded more, so must Sadiq Khan.”
In response to the Government conditgions on the bailout, one person tweeted: “Sadiq will have to use the Andy Burnham play book if this happens.”
Another added: “Sadiq Khan will stick up for his city like Andy Burnham has?!”
Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey accused Mr Khan of bankrupting the transport service during his tenure as Mayor.
He continued: “Khan has near bankrupted TfL and hung a closed sign over London.”
Earlier this month, Mr Khan also came under fire after he demanded more than £29billion Government funding just for London, including £5.65billion for TfL over the next 18 months.