Brentford and Isleworth Constituency Labour Party (CLP) has agreed to campaign with bus workers to save bus services in London. At a meeting on Wednesday 29th June members heard from a Unite the Union member working at Transport for London (TfL), who explained how this Conservative government has chosen to deliberately sabotage London’s transport network by refusing to properly fund it.
Ordinary Londoners did the right thing during lockdown and stayed home, but this has led to spending on fares for London’s public transport drying up. London’s transport system is too dependent on passenger fares, far more so than most global cities, where government plays its part.
In 2018 the government removed TfL’s operating grant amounting to £700 million pounds. London is the only city in Europe where there is no day-to-day transport subsidy.
As a condition of further funding from this government, TfL is proposing to cut bus services to achieve financial savings. TfL’s Central London Bus Review could mean up to 800 jobs being lost, 250 buses being removed, 16 routes axed. The public consultation has already received exceptionally high interest, so TfL has extended the closing date by four weeks to Sunday 7 August 2022.
Many London boroughs have no other forms of public transport with huge swathes of London cut off from its neighbours, making it hard for those who work or wish to visit the West End and City.
Judy Atkinson, Brentford and Isleworth CLP joint Trade Union Liaison Officer (TULO) said “by unanimously approving this emergency motion to campaign for our vital London bus services, members have recognised that London’s commuters and key workers deserve a world-class public transport system – not job cuts, attacks on conditions of employment and fare hikes”.
Paul Dodounou, Brentford and Isleworth CLP joint Trade Union Liaison Officer (TULO) emphasised that “buses workers are the backbone of our transport network and buses are critically important to reducing car use, congestion, road danger and pollution. Our public transport system is vital to getting Londoners moving after the pandemic. It is vital to the national recovery from Covid, and it is vital to creating a sustainable, green future.”
All residents are encouraged to act today: